By Noah Chung
One of the common questions we get asked at Resource Global is... “Why do you choose to invest resources and time in young leaders that may already be wealthy and successful in the workforce? Shouldn’t our resources be given towards efforts in church planting, evangelism, or ministry to the poor or oppressed?”
First of all, there is no doubt in our hearts and minds of the continual need for resources, time, and efforts to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20) and to also remember the poor (Gal. 2:10). This is foundational to the mission and life of the Church, and we wholeheartedly stand by it. However, one of the temptations that we see in our Western evaluation of Christianity, is valuing the immediacy of results and numbers over the depth and discipleship that happens over time. How many people were saved? How many mouths were fed? How many Bibles were given? And so on...
Now don’t get me wrong, numbers and results matter in Kingdom work. But the question for us in America (or the West) is... How effective are our current methods and investments towards making long-term Gospel impact in global countries and cities? OR Are we settling for numbers and results over building up and training local leaders to carry the mantle of God’s mission even when we are gone?
The temptation with much of our investments and giving toward global missions is that we, as Americans, want to see immediate or tangible results to our efforts. But when we look at how Jesus decided to start the Church, it wasn’t through just healing people or proclaiming the good news in the streets; it also included the time and energy spent discipling the Twelve. Even with the knowledge that Jesus would not see the Church grow with his own eyes. In addition, the Twelve were not ministers or priests. They were tradesmen, fishermen, a tax collector, and political radicals. Jesus decided to start the church by investing in common people with professional skills, who would be future leaders of the Gospel movement after he left.
And the rest is history…
The early Church exploded. Even amidst harsh persecution, the Gospel took hold of Jews and Gentiles all across the Roman Empire, even outlasting Rome itself. Jesus’ investment in a few impacted the multitudes. And it still impacts us today.
So at Resource Global, we are passionate about investing towards the long-term leadership development of young professionals in global cities. There are many young Christians who are strategically placed in these global cities, who have the networks, are self-sustainable, know the culture, and are passionate about how to impact their spheres of influence with the gospel. They are Zacchaeus who has great wealth. They are Cornelius the Centurion who works in the government. They are Lydia who owns a successful business. They are the Ethiopian Treasurer who has access to powerful people. But these people of influence, still needed the guidance, support, and discipleship from teachers and leaders like Jesus, Paul, and Peter. And at Resource Global, we see young versions of these individuals as having the potential to make an impact 30x, 50x, or 100x more than we could ever imagine.
Already, with three years of working in Indonesia, we’ve seen gospel impact that would have taken way more resources or time if we did it ourselves. We have had a leader start floating hospitals to support those without medical care in the thousands of islands in Indonesia, because of her resources and networks. We have had leaders give abundantly to local ministries and churches that are gospel-centered and they are locally a part of. We have had leaders approach their companies and begin to implement wholistic change away from the typical corruption and bribery that is common in SE Asia. As our cohort alumni continue to invest in their sphere of influences, we see Jakarta, Indonesia, and even SE Asia being impacted with Gospel-centered professional leaders.
So at the end of the day, our goal is not to see immediate numbers and results that is attributed to our skill or our people. Our goal is to see the people we invest into be used for Gospel-centered work in all spheres of life. And one day, we hope that through their passions, skills, resources, and networks, they will impact the multitudes with the power, hope, and love of the Gospel that has changed their lives too.
Noah Chung is the Director of Impact and Communications at Resource Global. He’s been with Resource Global for about four years. He also is a pastor and lives in Chicago.