As children and young adults in the church community, we learned early on that God loves us all so much that He sacrificed His Son to have a relationship with each of us individually. Wow, what love! And as we have studied Scripture more deeply, we learned that God indeed has a huge, open, compassionate heart for the nations and the peoples of this earth and ultimately for His Kingdom. As the Body of Christ, we have a part to play in His Mission to see that large, diverse, eternal Kingdom become a reality.
- But do we as a local church body have what it takes to fulfill our part in God’s Mission?
- Are we in fact Missions Minded?
- Are we as congregation members living missionally?
In reflection of the above questions, I came across this valuable resource, God’s Mandate for The Church: What it Takes to Become a Missions Minded Church Today, which articulates our responsibility to reflect God’s heart for the nations and the world around us.
Some may ask
Doesn’t the local church have enough to do? Aren’t its local members needy enough? Don’t we have enough problems of our own? We are already struggling with how to increase church membership and engagement. I hear you loud and clear on this. But, let us not forget that our communities are suffering. There is violence and poverty and political unrest right here at home, and simply put:
- God never works in isolation.
- His instructions to us never return in vain.
- If He asks us to participate in local and global outreach and Missions work, He has a plan. He has a reason.
Partnership is the key word in this mighty move of encouragement that the local church is undertaking. Missions encourages the global body of Christ by valuing every national church, their contribution to the Kingdom of God, and the development of national leaders who supply all that is needed for indigenous ministry to thrive. Western churches cheer them on in awe and wonder at all they can achieve and accomplish.
Missions minded churches give their people the chance to change, grow, and mature in unique ways. Missions helps people become learners. Many people who travel overseas are not only compassionate, but they are also strong-willed. They are adventurous and up for a challenge. What they may not be prepared for, however, is their need for an open mind, flexibility, teachability, and a willingness to change. Missions helps people acquire knowledge they previously did not have, assume the attitude of a learner, yearn to absorb information, embrace ambiguity, ask a myriad of questions, and long to be transformed in new ways they never imagined. God uses Missions to serve the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized of this world. But He also uses Missions opportunities to speak clarity into His people who have chosen to serve.
Through involvement with local or global Missions, church members learn how to build relationships. They learn to put people first. Learn to care deeply. And Learn to lay aside their time-consciousness and focus on the needs of others. Individuals involved in Missions focus on community-based needs and learn to think empathetically rather than logically. It is a beautiful thing to see the transformation happen as those involved in Missions begin to see through the eyes of Jesus rather than through the eyes of the World. When thinking about how to improve your ministry and expand its reach, this is foundational to loving your neighbor as yourself.
Here’s the takeaway: Actively participating in missions locally and globally is valuable. God calls His people to it and promises that it will be something that will enrich the entire Body of Christ.
God loves the World and has a huge, compassionate heart for the nations. God’s Mandate for The Church: What it Takes to Become a Missions Minded Church Today unwraps the privilege of the Church to join in His work of building His Kingdom by using our resources, our people, our expertise, and our passion to complete the assignment of making disciples in all the earth. Loving our neighbor means we need to be equipped from the inside out. Don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources to continue in this good work and church growth strategies! Sign up to receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox.
Build a Global Mission Strategy on Any Budget
After reading God’s Mandate for The Church: What it Takes to Become a Missions Minded Church Today, you’ll:
- Understand the biblical basis for missions.
- Learn about the good missions accomplishes in the world today.
- Discover five ways your church can join in God’s mission today.
So don’t wait any longer!
Cal joined the ACS team in 2004 and is currently the Market Strategy Manager serving denominational ministry partners. He received a degree in Secondary Education at Southeastern Bible College before pursuing graduate work at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He has served on various local nonprofit organizations, including The King’s Academy, a Christian school in Florence, SC., and R.E.A.C.H., an educational resource group based in Florence.