Outreach is a task assigned to the church by Christ, but it's easy to lose our sense of urgency when we lose sight of the overall picture.

I am reminded of the digging of the Panama Canal. Over a period of decades, several major attempts failed to finish the job. Finally, one effort carved through the isthmus…

How sad the worker who shoveled away without seeing the big picture. How foolish the Yankee laborer who may have been tempted to settle in am improved Panama with railroads and drained swamps and forget about the canal he had been sent to build! This sort of short-sightedness was, in part, why previous efforts failed.

And how sad the Christian who lovingly spreads good news, but without a conviction that God's global purposes are to be accomplished.

-Steve Hawthorne, "Penetrating the Last Frontiers," World Christian