Jesus gave us the mandate to proclaim the good news of His kingdom to all nations, tongues, tribes, and peoples. For those who follow Him, this is a command – not an option. Previously, we have explored some practical ways in which individuals could pursue this. We must go a step further and realize that this mission must be accomplished as disciples work together in unity. There must be an attitude of cooperation, not competition. We now turn our focus to some suggestions in establishing a mission culture in a local church setting.
- Seek the advice, wisdom, and expertise of those in the assembly who have actually participated in domestic and foreign missions. Expecting the professional staff of the church to guide the entire mission initiative is a failure to expedite a rich source of knowledge among the membership.
- Come to the realization that effective mission activity is also accomplished by groups and denominations other than your own. We may want to consider intentional partnerships with them. This would increase our focus as well as provide for wholesome relationships beyond our exclusive circle.
- Strive for the goal of having your membership know missionaries personally. Make sure that missionaries are honored in your church. Bring them to center stage rather than using them as “add-ons” in the services and gatherings. Let them speak and tell their stories and express their needs, instead of having them just “pray for the offering.” We need these perspectives from around the world.
- Establish consistent times of instruction throughout the year to educate the people from your church and others in the philosophical as well as the practical aspects of missions. Topics could range from having a missions’ apologetic, obtaining a passport or visa, raising support for trips and projects, even to dealing with jet lag. This should be an on-going effort.
- The whole concept of finances as it relates to missions should be explored. Congregations need to be intelligent and intentional in their giving in this area. What are the ethics and methods in raising support? Is it possible for various members to “adopt” certain missionaries so as to keep the whole membership informed? So many other questions need to be asked, and answered, in this realm.
- There are ways in which every member of the church can be integrated, even assimilated into global mission efforts and initiatives. The possibilities and opportunities are endless.
- Be intentional about informing and educating the assembly about what is happening around the world. Keep them current with events and issues: political, economic, ecological, religious, etc.
- Be in constant and fervent prayer for clarity, chemistry, and compassion.
- Above all, we must realize that Jesus has invited us to participate in His amazing plan for this world and the cosmos. He does not want us to hijack it. He gets all the glory!