Evangelism looks different when you visit a community that believes in the gospel truth but has had no leadership or discipleship versus one that has followed leaders who have distorted the true gospel. You don’t have to travel far to see the resistance of the true gospel by people who have only been told of man-made religions and built their lives off of what they have learned from false prophets. Mission trips often bring different expectations and outcomes for each member of the teams that are sent. Many times, God uses trips to plant a seed of the work that He will fulfill through us, but we may never get to witness. Every trip brings different challenges and successes, but God uses each trip for His glory whether it’s through spiritual growth, making disciples, or simply showing the world that there is something different about people that truly seek and follow Jesus.
Recently, our church began partnering with Mosaic Church in Provo, Utah. Mosaic Church is planted in a community that is heavily and deeply rooted in Mormon beliefs. We sent a team to serve alongside the church in sharing the truths of the gospel. One member of the team, Julie McNeely says, “They have fallen for this tactical, strategic counterfeit [religion] the enemy has created. They are trapped in a game they cannot ever survive victoriously, told they alone are to bear the burden of their sin and are defined by the performance of their life…all to arrive at the ‘next life’ with no real assurance. They are told that they are not good enough and neither is the God they serve. The thin, weak hope they are handed is wrapped up in the doing.” Seeing the pain this false religion caused so many people helped Julie feel led to continue to fight through prayer for those she met during her trip and for the Mormon community until she can be with them again.
Another member of the team, Will Reynolds, quickly realized that it would not be like any other mission trip he had been on. Although he has visited Utah several times and has experience and knowledge with his best friend being heavily involved in the Latter Day Saints (LDS) faith, Will still felt unprepared for the darkness that surrounded this community. Will says, “I’d be lying if I said that this was a mission trip where I was able to see someone come to faith in our Lord.” Seeing that sharing the Gospel would need to be approached in a different way, Will has decided to return again in the fall to continue building relationships with people in the city to show them what a true relationship with Jesus looks like.
To prepare the team for evangelism, the church partner, along with former LDS members, gave the team details on suicide rates, depression, anxiety, abandonment, and abuse that is frequent in the LDS church. Tim Dill has been on many mission trips with Church at The Mill, but this one struck him differently. He spent months leading up to the trip studying LDS theology and believed that he was ready for the coming challenges. Tim says, “The entire time I was prepping for the trip, I was appalled how anyone could follow or believe such heresy. This trip reminded me that non-believers do not need my criticism or condemnation. They need my love and compassion which will reflect the true gospel of Jesus.” As they went throughout the trip, he learned more stories about the LDS church that broke his heart for the people in the community.
The team left the trip heavily burdened for the people of Utah. However, they are also left with hope through the new church partner as they show the love of Jesus through their church. Scripture teaches us that Jesus died for our sins and there is nothing we can do to earn eternity in heaven with Him other than accepting that truth and following Him. The team was often reminded of gospel truth through this scripture, “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16 ESV). Mosaic Church is working diligently to teach the LDS community and those who have left the church this truth so that they may have a real relationship with Jesus and a healthy understanding of the true gospel.
Join us in praying for Mosaic Church as they see this darkness daily and lead people to true freedom and hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for encouragement, perseverance, and for the Holy Spirit to continue to work through the church. If you would like to send an encouraging letter to the Mosaic Church family, please contact email@example.com