I recently read  a small booklet called Why Be Missionary? written by Dr. Arnold Cook, retired president of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, Canada. It was a great 20 page read and was a reminder of why missions is in the name of the denomination I am a part of. Here are a few excerpts:

Why Be Missionary?

At our origin in North America we were known as “The Christian and Missionary Alliance.” As autonomous churches were established around the world, each assumed its distinctive name. Many have not adopted the equivalent to “The Christian and Missionary Alliance,” and even in North America the name is frequently shortened to “the Alliance Church.”
Although we may lament the loss of these terms which depict our historical distinctives, our energies must be directed toward the core values of being “Christian” first and “missionary” second. I will first enunciate ten reasons for being missionary, then five ways “missions” dies and finally three ways God restores missions in our churches.

Missions is at the centre of our faith. Our God is a God that does not wait around for people to seek him, but He actively goes out to seek the lost (Luke 19.10). God wants to use his people in blessing all people,  “…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12.3). Dr. Cook goes on to list 10 reasons for being Missionary. I believe that the below point speaks directly to our typical mentality today within the church. It examines the plank in our own eye (Matthew 7.1-6) and calls us out to exam what it means to pick up our crosses daily (Luke 9.23).

 7. Only Missions Saves the Church from Self-Destruction

Who is enemy number one of the Church? Islam? Buddhism? Secular humanism? Communism? It is true that historically these have been enemies from without. 
But our greatest enemy always has been within-“self.” The unconquered “self” destroys more Christians and churches than Communism ever did.

Click for a history of the C&MA

Much of the giving in a “non-missionary” church is self-motivated. We give to build our churches which serve our families. We give toward the pastor’s support, which is biblical, but he also is serving our family. Only giving to the cause of missions to reach the powerless and lost people of the world becomes “true giving.”

The destructive nature of “self” really grasps the idea of what Christ meant with “…‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12.31). If we, Christians in the Church, conquer “self” and give our time, money, and abilities to spreading the gift of grace we have been given what difference will we see in this world? The Gospel would reach every corner of the globe.Click here for a history of the C&MA

We would see the fulfillment of the great commission (Matthew 28) and the Glory of God will shine brighter than the sun (Revelations 21.23)!