As we pursue the new “normal” post-COVID-19, we can’t lose sight of what is essential as followers of Chist. We have perhaps adapted to curbside pickup, DoorDash and grocery delivery… to restaurant menus and business services that have been limited due to the pandemic. However, answering God’s call to the nations cannot be a “currently unavailable service” in our lives and our congregations.
Jesus’ call remains the same:
“…GO and MAKE disciples of all nations!”
— Matthew 28:19, NIV
We are called to proclaim the Good News of the death and resurrection of Christ to every tongue, tribe and nation!
We envision CGM (Celebrating Global Mission) as being a part of the solution to a loss of global mission faithfulness – not only in this post-pandemic season but going back more than five decades in many of our churches.
Why do we use “Mission” not “Missions” in the name of our magazine? Often, in popular usage, the plural of mission has been used to refer to our kingdom building, cross-cultural task commanded by the Lord. There are numerous Christian global mission organizations doing this through a variety of means and methods. However, at CGM we have chosen the singular in our title – Celebrating Global Mission – to reflect that at its core, we all – individuals, churches and agencies – share one common mission: to make disciples of all the nations!
The compelling PURPOSE behind CGM is the Great Commission, and the HEART is the faithful, challenging, difficult and fruitful work of our Charter global mission Partners: World Mission Prayer League (WMPL), Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT), Friends of Madagascar Mission (FOMM), and Awakening Lives to World Missions (ALWM). When we shared the vision for CGM with each of them, they wholeheartedly agreed to join us in this new venture: to inspire, inform and invite the current and next generations to get back to work in taking the Gospel to the nations.
Our draft work on the CGM mockup included a few previously published articles that we decided to keep in the official first publication. Upcoming issues will contain new articles from our Partners and will follow our initial quarterly publication schedule: August 2021, November 2021, February 2022 and so on.
Why "Mission" instead of "Missions" in our name?
To reflect that at its core, we all share one common mission:
To make disciples of all the nations!
It’s my joy to serve as editor for this exciting project. In this and future postings, you will discover powerful, personal stories of lives transformed by God’s grace through the work of ordinary people like you and me who have answered the call to “Go!” from our extraordinary, incomparable God!
I am reminded here of these stirring words of Rev. August Carlson, from his sermon on June 18, 1878. At his commissioning service the day before his departure for India, Rev. Carlson said:
“Dear friends, I know that you will carry me on your arms of prayer…and when I reach the mission field and there will be privileged to see some Gospel progress, I shall be glad to report this to you. But I beseech you: if I should be unable to persevere, if sooner or later I shall fall in the struggle (and it would surprise me if I should live to return) then I ask one thing of you…if I do not come back, do not look upon the cause as lost or hopeless but pledge yourselves instead to send forth hundreds of other missionaries!”
— Rev. August Carlson
It is in that same Spirit that we commend to you this first CGM magazine!
For this first From the Editor post, I want to introduce CGM’s behind-the-scenes editors: Pastor Kent Groethe, CGM founder and consulting editor, and Joy Minion, production editor. Here are comments from each.
Kent Groethe: The greatest failure of North American churches in the past 30 years is their abandonment of Missions. This is especially tragic because at the same time the most important task of the church is – and always has been – to share God’s Word with a world that does not yet know Him. We have lost our passion both for world missions and for evangelism at home. Something must change! We cannot sit idly by while men and women from hundreds of people groups around the globe are without Christ.
We want CGM to become part of the solution. This digital magazine is free of charge, although donations of any amount to help defray production costs are welcome. Also, you are free to copy, share and use any of the articles in any way you like – CGM is for you and for the body of Christ.
Our Partners are vibrant Lutheran ministries doing great work in missions. CGM provides pertinent, informative and compelling stories of successes on the mission field, helpful resources for congregations, encouragement to individuals and churches to go deeper in World Missions, and a fresh inspiration for all of us to make a new commitment to sharing the Gospel with the world. Our dream is to see countless Lutherans gain a new vision, an interest in, and even a passion for those without Christ. We would love to see congregations who had abandoned the work of World Missions develop a renewed vision.
Joy Minion: CGM is the brainchild of Pastor Kent Groethe, born of his passion for missions. I’ve worked with Kent since 2005, when I became the editor for his numerous books and Bible studies. He often shared with me his desire for a resource to help others focus on the need for a revitalized concept of mission involvement. And he wanted that resource to be free for all to use.
In 2008, we started Connections magazine, which proved to be a popular resource for many. However, because of the costs involved with producing a print magazine, it was impossible to make it a “free” resource.” I’m delighted to once again work with Kent as production editor for this new venture, helping to make his vision of a free and shareable resource become a reality. I’ve also worked with Bill for years, from formatting his book, Igniting a Passion for Missions, to editing his submissions to Connections. Working with Kent and Bill on CGM feels like working with family toward a common goal!
While we refer to CGM as a digital magazine, think of it as a blog with multiple authors. CGM begins with the concept of quarterly “issues” or postings – which may become more frequent as our library of articles grows. Our prayer for CGM: to encourage and inspire a renewed passion for fulfilling the Great Commission!