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How Can Your Small Group Affect the Nations?

Written by Nate Irwin on

Group Members

It’s remarkable that your Small Group can actually affect the nations!  In a lot more ways than it could have, say, one hundred years ago.

Why The Nations?

But first, why affect the nations?  God’s plan from the beginning of His choosing Abraham was to bless all nations through him (Gen. 12:3, emphasis mine).  God is so great and His Son so worthy that He wants the knowledge of His glory to fill the earth as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14).  We might quote that verse or even sing it without realizing that God doesn’t just decree this to happen but He uses meansto accomplish this goal.  And that means is His people—you and me!  Your Small Group.I see three levels at which your Small Group can affect the nations:

Level One:  Support Your Missionary  

It does take finance to “send” workers (Rom. 10:14-15).  One of the main reasons hindering people from going into missions is having to raise support.  If those who stay are generous and even take the initiative in financial matters, it is a great encouragement to the missionary.

Level Two:  Visit Your Missionary  

When we served in Pakistan, it was understandably difficult to get our friends to come visit us. But some did!  And we felt so much closer to those people because they had seen where we lived, they had met those we worked with, and they had walked in our shoes for a few days. 

Consider your Small Group banding together to send some people to visit your missionary.  And by send, I mean pool your resources and as a group help to fund their travel.

Level Three:  Pray Consistently For Your Missionary  

As someone said, “Prayer is not preparation for the ministry, prayer is the ministry.”  In the spiritual realm you can have an impact on what happens halfway around the world just as much as if you were on site. 

Your missionary is the flesh-and-blood incarnation of Jesus in that country, but you are the ones who can make their ministry impactful in heavenly places.

Notice I said to pray “consistently.”  A prayer for your missionary now and again is a good thing.  Far better though is praying for them every time you meet as a group and tracking with the ebbs and flows of their lives: the challenges and joys of their ministry, knowing by name the key people they work with and among. 

This type of prayer will show your earnestness and give power to your prayer as your missionary seeks to make Christ known in a hostile environment. 

Many of us are better at one-offs than we are at a consistent pattern of doing the same thing again and again.  It’s sometimes easier to practice a spiritual discipline with others, and what better place than your Small Group to encourage each other in the fruitful but hard work of prayer?

Prayer is the greatest thing you can do to impact the nations towards the Savior you love.  And it is probably the hardest.

Who Is Your Missionary?

This all assumes you have “your missionary.” College Park Church supports over 50 missionaries in 20 countries, and you cannot possibly be expected to support or even know all of them. 

But you could pick just one and focus on them and the nation they serve.  

Have you done that yet?  If so—give, go, and pray for them.  If not, you have a wonderful menu of missionaries to choose from in our Global Outreach Prayer Guide.



Find out more about Global Outreach on the College Park Church website

Nate Irwin

Nate joined staff at College Park in 2002 as the Pastor of Global Outreach. He is also an elder for the North Suburbs Parish. Drawing on his own experience having grown up, and then serving as a missionary in, Pakistan, Nate works to challenge, prepare, and enable cross-cultural messengers of the gospel from College Park and to cast a vision for reaching unreached people groups through strategic partners. He is passionate about “finishing the task” of making disciples of all 17,000 nations in the world.

Prior to coming on staff, Nate served with TEAM as the principal of Zarephath Bible Institute in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Nate and his wife, Marty, have three adult children and two grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, travel, and sports of all kinds.

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