In developing a ministry strategy, remember that it is as important to identify ministries that you’ll avoid as well as ministries that you’ll develop. Too often the good is a distraction for the best. Below is some food for thought for missions pastors and missions committees:
- We recognize differences in access to the Gospel and prefer working among unreached people groups rather than focusing generally on sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, or the Caribbean.
- We recognize a comprehensive strategy to reach a community through churches and prefer working through ministries that emphasize church planting rather than para-church ministries, ministries that have little connection with local churches, or impersonal, project-oriented ministry.
- We recognize issues of cultural distances and prioritize church planters and other ministers who are culturally close to the UPG culturally rather than culturally distant.
- We recognize the importance of cultural understanding and prefer doing the hard work of finding and partnering with local ministers who have solid language and cultural skills rather than through ministries that have key decision makers, ministry leaders, or teachers who don’t know any of the language nor have ever lived among the UPG. We don’t expect to impact a UPG by sending volunteers for a few days each year even though this may make people feel more involved.
- We recognize the importance of longevity and prefer organizations with years of solid experience rather than start-ups that are still untested and in the learning process. This is especially true of start-ups led by people with no experience in that context or in that ministry.
- We recognize the importance of the local church leadership and prefer working with and through local churches for ministry rather than working independently of local churches.
- We recognize the importance of financial stewardship and prefer clear financial accountability rather than sending money to people or organizations because their leadership seems trustworthy and because the need is so great.
- We recognize the risk of financial based relationships and prefer to connect with people relationally with local believer involvement rather than through primarily focusing on meeting their physical needs.
- We recognize issues of dependence and prefer working with partners who also contribute to the project financially.
- We recognize the importance of extending and multiplying ministry through partnerships with other churches and prefer doing all we can to extend the ministry through partnership with other similar churches rather than working independently.
Have anything to add or modify?