Missions at Grace
Our desire to declare God's glory leads us to actively participate in Paul's vision for missions laid out in Romans 10:14-15: "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'” Our aim in missions is to send out members of our church—to the ends of the earth—to preach the gospel so that others may hear, believe, and call on the name of the Lord. Perhaps before you read anything else on this page, take time to pray for an unreached people group (UPG)—that they may hear and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ while there's still time.
Meet Our Missions Staff
Missions, Discipleship, and Operations
Our goal is quite simple: we want to help impact all nations for the glory of God. The testimony of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is that we were created to enjoy God’s grace in relationship with Him, so that we may extend His glory to the ends of the earth. Matthew 28:19 commands and commissions us to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
Our goal is to be a church of world-impacting disciples who are partnering with our brothers and sisters here and around the world to produce ever-multiplying churches all around our city, this country, and to the ends of the earth. Our strategy is three-fold: (1) reaching the unreached around the world (learn more about what “unreached” means here); (2) strengthening and helping churches and ministries in “reached” contexts through short-term trips, as well as prayer and financial support; and (3) reaching the lost in Oxford, both Americans and international peoples who have come to us.
How We Partner with Others
Reaching the Unreached: One of the three focuses of Grace’s approach to missions is being a part of planting churches in unreached areas of the world. An unreached or "least-reached" people group (UPGs) are peoples among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance; that means less than or equal to 5% Christian Adherents and less than or equal to 2% Evangelicals. This is not to be confused with unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs), which are defined here.
To this end, we have partnered for a long time with local workers and foreign missionaries in Italy, which according to Operation World, is only 1.1% evangelical. Even though there are many "self-professing" Roman Catholics, according to the last census, less than 2% go to any kind of church more than 3 times per year. Italy is post-Christian. Through Grace, hundreds have gone on mission trips to Italy over the past decade. We have sent members of our own to serve there and currently provide support to 10 missionaries, campus ministers, and church planters there. Our most formal partnership is with Nuova Vita (New Life) in Salerno. Nuova Vita is an Acts 29 church plant some of our members helped start. It is now pastored and led by local Italians.
As the work we've supported for so long in Italy has become more locally-led and self-sustaining, Grace is in the process of developing new partnerships with missionaries serving all around the world. More info will come soon on opportunities to support and serve alongside missionaries in contexts like Greece, India, and East Asia. Grace also supports numerous missionaries and churches in other unreached contexts, including Kurdistan and Thailand. As a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, we especially support the work of the International Mission Board and aim to send members of ours as missionaries with them if at all possible.
Strengthening the Work in Reached Contexts: A part of the Great Commission is to "make disciples" by "teaching them to observe everything" Christ commanded. Even after people groups come to know Christ, there is still work to be done. To that end, we have long supported the work of Salt and Light Ministries in Honduras, a ministry outfit that uses mercy and medical ministries in their community as a way to share the gospel with others. Grace typically takes a trip to serve with our partners there in the summer.
We also support work in reached contexts in many other countries around the world, including France, Mexico, Brazil, and Peru. In the United States, we support churches and ministries in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas as well. As a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, we especially support the work of the North American Mission Board and aim to send members of ours as church planters with them if at all possible. Leaders Collective is also effective to this same end, which is why we support their ministry.
Reaching the Lost in Oxford: We want all of our members to be trained and encouraged to evangelize their friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, and others in their spheres of influence; this is why you will often hear us point to evangelism as a part of the application in our sermons. Many people in Oxford have come to faith through the evangelistic ministry seen in the everyday lives of our members. We also support many ministries that work to that end on our middle school, high school, and college campuses, including Campus Outreach, Baptist Student Union, International Guest House, Cru, Cru Valor, Reformed University Fellowship, and Young Life of Oxford. Our church has a robust International Student Ministry as well, which you can learn more about by clicking here.