Scripture passages that shape our church on this topic:
Instructions from our Lord to make disciples of all nations, to love and serve others:
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matt. 28:19-20).
But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many (Mark 10:43-45).
He said to him, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands (Matt. 22:37-40).
Church leaders need to prepare people for service:
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Gods Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christs fullness (Eph. 4:11-13).
Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock (Pet. 5: 2-3).
Jesus and the New Testament church prayed for His followers and for laborers in the harvest:
Jesus: “Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9:37-38).
New Testament Church: “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak Gods message with boldness.” (Acts 4:31).
Paul: Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. 20 For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.” (Eph. 6:19-20).
“Getting out of the starting blocks”, steps to getting off the ground this year:
- Have key church leaders including pastor attend a Perspectives course
- Have key church leaders go in a cross-cultural short-term missions trip. Do plenty of promotion before the whole congregation before the trip and reporting upon return. Consider starting here.
- Visit other leading churches who have a strong missions ministry and ask what they do.
- Jump start interest in your church by hosting a weekend missions conference.
What we do:
Our primary missions mobilization and education system is to offer the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course each year. We require all of our short-term missions team members to take the course before they go on their trip. We also invite churches in our community to send students to the course and partner with churches in nearby communities who host the Perspectives course to share speakers. We require the course in our church’s staff training.
We also take opportunity to inform our church family whenever we sending short and long-term missionaries, request prayer for the missionaries, and thank the congregation for participating in their funding. We try to connect many of our church’s small groups with missionaries on the field for prayer and other support. Finally we do not have mission conferences, but we do make sure that our key teachers go on short-term projects every few years to make sure their messages are infused with stories from other cultures.
Key Lessons to Share:
- We don’t have anything against mission conferences, but we think that our time is better spent for mobilization through regularly reporting on people that we are sending out. We also think that we get more missions promotion from sending our key teaching pastors on short-term trips and them infusing their teaching with illustrations than through having missions conferences.
- We publish a prayer-book twice a year with updated photos and prayer requests from the missionaries that we support from our church.
- The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course has been our best missions mobilization and education tool.
- We work to create a culture of promoting God’s work around the world as we disciple every age group.
- Some missions mobilization organizations error by implying that nearly every Christian should be a cross-cultural missionary. We do not believe this is true and avoid promoting these organizations.
- Many missions organizations are designed to go around funding mechanisms of churches to directly recruit monthly support from members. Some churches allow and encourage this. We don’t use this funding model because of a concern that funds will flow to the best fundraisers and not the most strategic ministries.
- Some missions projects are justified not because they accomplish the mission, but because they are a good way to involve church members. Do the hard work to create projects that are strategic and not just busy work for church members.
Other Posts on this Topic:
- Map of Global Status of Evangelical Christianity
- Kingdom of God: Making the invisible visible
- Map of world population from Operation World, also prayer resources
- You really will be glad if you sign up for Operation World’s Prayer Challenge
- Another helpful prayer resource: PrayerCast
- World Watch List Countries, where persecution of Christians is most severe
Helpful Books on this Topic:
Johnstone illustrates visually the century-by-century expansion of the church around the world and lists the shaping events of each century. Analyzing the trends within each branch of Christianity, he gives special attention to various forms of evangelical Christianity.
Introducing World Missions tries to do much in one book. The task of introducing the biblical, historical, and practical aspects of missions is a massive enterprise. The best audience for this book is someone who is a believer who hasn’t yet carefully studied cross cultural ministry or the idea of “missions” and would like an overview. This introduction to missions is true to its title. It covers the biblical, historical, and practical aspects of God’s dealing with man across time, and God’s use of men to spread His message of love and truth.
Helpful Websites to Explore:
- To connect with missions resources: MisLinks.org
- To research people groups: Joshua Project
- To connect with other organizations: Missio Nexus
- To get help in mobilization: The Traveling Team
- Journal for missions issues: Mission Frontiers
- To learn about the persecuted church: Persecution.org
Other topics in this series:
- Mobilize and educate the church to serve outside of its walls and lead them in praying for the nations
- Strategically allocate the church’s missions funds
- Select, promote, coordinate, train, lead, and debrief short-term missions trips
- Recruit, select, train, send, and support long-term missionaries from our church
- Create and coordinate evangelism and service projects in our community
- Recruit, develop, and send church planters from my church