As church leaders, it is our duty and responsibility to lead our congregations in the ways in which God has called us. Without a doubt, part of that call is an outward focus on the people of the world. But how do we develop this kind of a missional, globally minded worldview in the minds of our people, as well as in ourselves?
Think of it in three distinct parts: Commit, Learn, and Do!
Commit to becoming globally minded.
No one becomes globally minded without trying. Changing the way we think about the world takes time and effort. Make the world and its peoples a priority in your life. Read books on different cultures. Talk to people with different backgrounds. Plan trips to places you’ve never been. Put these things into your weekly calendar and make goals that will help you track your progress. Ask others to hold you accountable. Make sure the people in your congregation are aware of the commitment you have made to becoming missional. Cast the vision for them, and then take them along on this international journey. Becoming globally minded will not happen automatically. Commit to it, and make it happen.
Gather with other globally minded people.
Once you’ve committed to going global, one of the easiest ways to get on the road to becoming globally minded is gathering with others who are already where you want to be. Seek out those who know a lot about the world and its nations. Attend gatherings dedicated to missions, global outreach, or international impact. Find out what your church or other churches in your area are doing to learn more about the world and their efforts to get involved missionally. Try to catch their vision and make it your own.
Learn God’s biblical mandate to the world.
The Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 is perhaps the most popular call to the nations. But it is certainly not the first nor the only time God makes it clear that His priority is for the whole world. The theme of reaching all the people of the earth with His love and His word begins in Genesis and is seen all throughout the Old and New Testaments. Study the Bible for this theme. Teach it to your congregation both en masse and on an individual level. Let God’s vision and mandate for every nation, every people, every tribe, and every tongue form your way of thinking, as well as your way of life.
Learn the plight of those around the world.
Once you’ve committed to becoming globally minded and adopted God’s biblical global mandate as your own, it’s time to learn about those to whom God has called us. People from all around the world are not so different from those of us in the Global North. They have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. Learn about them. Learn about the differences, but learn about the similarities, as well. Meet the people from other cultures who live in your own neighborhood. Develop relationships with those in your church who hail from other lands.
As you begin to learn, you’ll discover that many people around the world face challenges that are so extreme that no amount of hard work will solve them. Learn what part you can play in relieving poverty, in developing vocational skills, and in putting an end to human trafficking. Take trips to parts of the world most notably suffering. Meet people one-on-one and hear their stories of heartache and anguish. Once you’ve learned the plight of these cultures, it will be difficult to stand idly by while people around the world suffer. Learning about their suffering will serve as a catalyst to your globally minded thinking, as well as your missional action.
Now is the time to act. Now is the time to get involved. You’ve learned what you need to get started and your commitment is strong. Take that first step toward a truly global worldview. It can be something small, it could be a life-changing overhaul, or somewhere in between. But no matter what you decide to do, just do something. Get started. How will your church begin to make a positive difference around the world? It’s up to you. Share the vision with your people. Get them to buy in to this new way of life. Mentor younger believers with a global outlook so they can use their vitality and enthusiasm to reach the world for Christ. Do something now. Do something today.