29 Oct '09
Missions today is about.....
Equipping others rather than doing it ourselves. With a world population of 6.5 billion it is critical that missionaries are equippers of others rather than simply doing it themselves. This is in line with Ephesians 4:12 where the emphasis is on equipping and giving ministry away. This is a change in how many missionaries see their role.
Partnering with others rather than doing it alone. Historically missions have not been very partnership friendly. They have gone it alone and have perpetuated all of the denominational distinctives from their homeland to the rest of the globe. Yet, Jesus did not die for our particular denominational brand but for the church. Working together both with other missions and with indigenous partners where they exist can help us reach greater numbers of people.
Raising up indigineous leaders rather than being the leader. Paul did just this in his church planting strategy. As quickly as possible he raised up, trained and appointed leaders for the church. If we are about equipping others rather than doing it ourselves we need to also give leadership away to those that we develop. That is the only way to start indigenous church movements and to guard against dependencies.
Involving all of God's people, not just some of God's people. Everyone has a stake on world evangelization. In today's world everyone can also play a vital role whatever our background or training. We can give, we can pray, we can participate long term or short term. Travel is cheap and opportunities are huge. Missions is no longer only the purview of those who have Bible School or Seminary training - and never should have been. God calls all of his people to be involved in the great commission and it has never been easier than today to carry that out in the international arena.
Going ourselves, not just sending others. There is no substitute for hands on experiences in missions. It so changes our hearts and perspectives that one church I know of will not allow new elders to come on their board who has not personally participated in their India ministry because they want to guard the missions DNA of their congregation. The more people who experience the world and missions first hand the more the congregation carries a great commission DNA.
Reclaiming the great commission as the call of the church and not the call of the para church. The responsibility and vision for world missions was given to the church, not the para church. Every congregation should be and can be personally involved. Para church mission agencies exist to serve the church in their global vision and not to work independently of the church on the sending or receiving side.
These six changes in how we see missions are really game changers for the global cause of Christ.