Responding to Jesus Christ's Great Commission (which echoes God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12)
What is the role of the local church in missions?
Prevailing attitude in church A:
Our blessings bring equal responsibilities
Prevailing attitude in church B:
Our blessings outweigh our responsibilities
World evangelization permeates church life throughout the year. Missions is that annual weekend event for taking Faith Promise pledges. [ more on Faith Promise ] Every member expects to have some role in the global harvest. Only those who are super-spiritual or those who are "called" get involved in missions. God's heart for the nations is heard in almost every service. Other than during the Faith Promise weekend, missions is rarely mentioned. Church leadership continually challenges couples and singles to consider going overseas. Adults decide on their own if God is "calling" them into missions. Going on short-term or Work and Witness trips is the expected norm. It's OK if you insist on going on a short-term mission trip like Work and Witness. The average lay member of this congregation can name several verses, knowing God's heart for all nations is the theme of the Bible. The average attender in this church can only name 2-3 Scripture verses that deal with missions. [ read more ] Missions needs are met even before the electric bill is paid. In a financial pinch, the first thing that's reduced is missions giving. Most know who the church's adopted (LINKS) missionaries are, where they serve, and what their needs are. Most members don't know who their adopted (LINKS) missionaries are or where they are serving. [ more on LINKS ] Mission information and prayer times are mainstream. Meetings focusing on missions aren't held very often and are poorly attended. The church has a goal of giving no less than 25% of its income to world missions. World Missions gets the minimum funding suggested (10% or less of the church's income). World evangelization is seen as half the reason the church exists. Missions is a "necessary evil" that occasionally intrudes on the real ministry of the church.
Which of these churches will our church be? Will we be part of God's purpose to add to the Body of Christ those purchased with His blood "from every nation, tribe, people and language"? (Rev. 7:9)
Developing a local church missions program
Try these books:
- Today's All-Star Mission Churches by Tom Telford (Baker Books, 2001)
- A Mind for Missions: Ten Ways to Build Your World Vision by Paul Borthwick (Navpress Publishing Group, 1987)
- Treasure in Clay Jars by Lois Barret (Eerdmans, 2004)
Out of print books which you might find in used bookstores (including online ones)
- How to get your congregation involved in missions by David Mays (ACMC, 1997)
- Missions in the Twenty-First Century by Tom Telford and Lois Shaw (Shaw, 2000)
Here's a master's thesis on the internet on the subject: Building Global Minded Christians
Get the CD titled: "Stuff you need to know about doing missions in your church"
|Missionary slogans to inspire and energize [ read more ]|
Howard Culbertson, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008 | Phone: 405-491-6693 - Fax: 405-491-6658
Copyright © 2000, 2001 - Last Updated: March 17, 2009 | URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/tale.htm