Guidelines International Ministries

Ears Can’t Hear If Hearts Aren’t Engaged

The essence of the gospel is that while we were far from God, alienated in our sin and rebellion, He came near to us in loving pursuit and merciful invitation. He wasn’t content to engage with us through prophets and priests. Rather, Jesus, fully God, cloaked himself in human flesh and became simultaneously fully man. He took on the pain, grit, and brokenness of earth when He was born as a baby in a stable. Everything about his birth, steeped in scandal, his life as a poor Jewish man living under oppressors, and his excruciating death on the cross show his humble willingness to draw near to us in empathy.

Missions exist to convey the invitation from the God who comes near to us – taking on our flesh, culture, and language – to issue a proposal to spend eternity with Him! A foundational way to show unreached people the God who draws near to us is through language. We’re not asking unreached people groups to learn a new language or change their culture before they hear the good news. We are taking it to them in the language they first learned from their mothers.

The Power of Heart Languages

We call these local dialects, the languages people learn on their mother’s knees, “heart languages.” Heart Languages have been recognized by missionaries, educators, and anthropologists as the most effective language for deep, meaningful communication! Even people who are bilingual connect and understand at a deeper level in their first language, making this even more important when sharing who Jesus is.

A great example of how powerful this can be is the story that took place during one of our outreaches. When given an audio Bible, a woman who had previously only heard Christian teaching in English, quickly put the device to her ear. Suddenly, a huge smile came to her face – she was hearing the Bible in her heart language for the first time, exclaiming, “I didn’t know God spoke my language!” She experienced tangibly just how near God has come in pursuit of her and her people.

A great example of how powerful this can be is the story that took place during one of our outreaches. When given an audio Bible, a woman who had previously only heard Christian teaching in English, quickly put the device to her ear. Suddenly, a huge smile came to her face – she was hearing the Bible in her heart language for the first time, exclaiming, “I didn’t know God spoke my language!” She experienced tangibly just how near God has come in pursuit of her and her people.

This is how we want to participate in the Great Commission, sharing the good news of Jesus and discipling His people. Our methods should mirror the heart of God every step of the way. Both in our approach to evangelism and discipleship, we want to convey to the 3.29 billion unreached people that Jesus has drawn near to us and invites us to be with Him!

John 17:24 gives us a precious glimpse into Jesus’s prayers to the Father right before He willingly died on the cross. He says,

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me.

What wonderful hope we have knowing that Jesus asks us to be with Him where He is, seeing his glory and experiencing His love! That is the invitation that we carry to the world. And we carry it in each people group’s local language, drawing near to the people, cultures, and tribes that are the reason Jesus came.

Furthering The Great Commission

We hope to share with you our passion that every tribe and tongue will one day know and worship Jesus!

Please visit our language page to learn about the languages we create devotional content for. You can explore the work being done in places you’ve never heard of or support sharing the gospel in a region you already pray for!

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