Published by Mark Morris on 21 May 2008 at 04:29 am
How Can Mission Leader Serve Your Church?
By assisting you to engage in a healthy missional process. We roll up our sleeves and help you work through a process of evaluating and re-framing. We don’t give you theory and then walk away. What Mission Leader offers is mission consultation to assist you in strengthening the implementation of your unique missional vision. It’s not about us implementing our vision and plans for your church. It’s your God inspired vision and plans that we will assist you in developing, particularly as it relates to missions.
Mission Leader assists pastors and mission leaders by…
- Evaluating & re-framing local and global ministry thinking.
- Dreaming & planning for strengthened local and global ministry.
- Guiding the transition into your unique local and global strategic plan.
- Tailor systems for implementing your strategic plan.
World Mission Leader Services is for you if your church is seeking to establish biblical, strategic, and effective global mission strategies that impact Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, and the ends of the Earth.
Steps in the Process of Building a World Christian Strategy
The core of our W.O.R.L.D. Christian strategy is obedience to God’s Word, which leads to Biblical Objectives, which bolster Right practices, that over time contribute to Lasting Values, which ultimately enable Dreams to be fulfilled. Audacious dreams can change the world.
1. Evaluate What Exists and Re-frame Parameters
The impetus for this process is a desire to build W.O.R.L.D. Christians as opposed to provincial Christians. The evaluation process is the first step. Evaluation involves visional leadership staff walking other lay-leaders and staff through a process of understanding and stating the current realities and benchmarks. It answers the question: What are we doing in missions and why? It involves a clear look at finances, leadership, equipping, geographic involvement, and the process of and priorities in decision making in missions.
Re-framing involves clarifying Biblical principles and priorities for your missional ministries, at home, in our nation, and to the ends of the Earth. Your church is excellent in many regards. There is clearly a desire to refine, expand, and retool, or else you would not be in contact with Mission Leader. We offer assistance in the process of evaluating and re-framing.
After identifying the key leaders who can make or break your global and local mission strategy, time must be spent delving into God’s Word, into your own church history and character, and into the decision-making process at your church. Eventually you have to settle on:
Word – Biblical Principles – There is no time like the present to look at what we are doing in missions, overlaid by the template of God’s Word regarding missions. God’s Word forces us to focus on the imperatives and principles that drive our activities and vision. What normally drives a church’s mission practices is something other than the Biblical imperative. Unfortunately, it’s usually 90% personal stuff, rather than Biblical imperative that drives a church’s mission activity. It’s Aunt Gertrude’s cousin’s nephew to whom we give mission funds, because Gertrude is the organist and a founding member of the church. Our mission trips are all to Napa Valley because that’s where Pastor Ralph grew up – he loves taking teams to see his family and to do clinics for the “poor Mexicans” that do the labor on his family’s farm. Personal stuff is not a lasting imperative for obedience to God’s mission mandate.
Objectives – Local Church-Based Biblical Objectives – Often it’s not local church-based objectives and strategic thinking, it’s “the etcetera factor” outside the local church that forces churches on a path of what they talk about and what they do in missions. It may be the latest denominational propaganda, secular trends or popular Christianity that lead us to whatever we do in missions. It’s the etc. rather than local church-based strategic/intentional praying, thinking, and planning that drives mission objectives. Too often our objectives are neither our own, nor are they born out of Biblical foundations. God’s Word must lead the local church to her own World Christian Objectives for her unique local and global mission strategy.
Right Practices – Systems– Parameters for Saying, “No” – God’s Word leads us to God’s objectives, which give us a passion that drives us to just do what’s right, regardless. There must be a passion that fuels our hearts to do what we know is right, regardless of the objections of good and godly people. Right Practices fuel Passion and push us to press on during the challenging days in which Satan and people within the church attack God’s best. Good things, very good things become the barrier to God’s best in missions. Good things are impossible to argue against. The only way to win the battle of good versus best is – just doing what’s best regardless. Good people don’t intend to oppose God’s audacious plans, they’re just not mature enough to understand them yet.
Lasting Values – Things We Say “Yes” to Every Day – Every church, like every person, has values that it can’t always recognize, even when those values are right in front of its nose. Values are what you believe; they’re what you do, day to day. Christ-centered, lasting values will enable your church to find its unique place in our community and in the world. Lasting Values need to be articulated over and over again, especially during times of resistance and spiritual battles. Sometimes those values need to be stated in order to remind us of where God’s heart is. The measuring rods of mission success need to be designed and documented to help measure and monitor success. Lasting values give the right and the responsibility to say no to very good things in order to say yes to local church-based, biblical priorities.
Dreams–God-sized Dreams Worth Dying For – These are the “if only this could happen,” blessings that would match your wildest dreams. We must be willing to whisper the dream until God gives us the faith to shout it and challenge the congregation to trust God for His wildest dreams for His kingdom’s sake. Missionaries and most pastors get into ministry for a higher calling – a calling to live and die for something much greater than themselves. Dreams are worth dying for. What is it that your church is dreaming about? What would your congregation give their lives for? What dream is so big that it requires that church members lay down their worldly possessions? What is the one thing that Park Cities can do to change its city and its world, which could only occur if it says “no” to good things in order to say yes to extraordinary things for Christ. Obedience to God’s Word leads to Biblical objectives, which bolster right practices, that over time contribute to lasting values, which ultimately enable dreams to be fulfilled. Audacious dreams can change the world.
2. World Christian Priorities
The next step is to draw the evaluation process down to a small number of priorities, which will facilitate the establishment of processes that will get the church to her dreams. The purpose of step 2 is to come to a handful of priorities that will make it very simple for you when Sweet Joe Missionary asks you for a million dollars to reach the Patuga Indians of Timbuktu. You want to help but you only have two dollars left in the Mission Fund. The Priorities help you know how to decide. The priorities also help you to know what to do when Slick Willie Scheister, posing as a missionary asks you to fund his Aquatic Mobile Gospel Video Chapel to North American Anglo-Saxon Indians of Long Beach.
Even more challenging, these priorities help you decide what to do with a dozen great, mediocre, and poor requests all sitting in front of your mission decision makers.
Sample Priorities – Here are some priorities that are unique to one church. Yours should be different. We went through a year-long process to come to these. You should plan plenty of time with the right people to come to your priorities. The Bible, XYZ church’s unique history, XYZ church’s unique passion, XYZ church’s organizational requirements, etc. all led us to these priorities.
Strategic Mission Priorities for XYZ Church (SAMPLE)
- Clear Gospel Witness
- Our Knowledge of their Work
- Their Experience in Their Particular Ministry
- My Church Member
- Connection/Affiliation with Legitimate?Organizations/Churches
- Strategic Value of the Ministry
- Persecuted Church or Unreached World
- Church Planting
- Spiritual Fruit
- Financial Disclosure
3. World Christian Parameters for Decision-Making
In addition to the above priorities, spell out any other decision-making grids, templates, or profiles that need to permeate the systems established for making decisions. For example, do you have IRS, board, ethical, and biblical requirements in addition to your priorities that will shape every decision? At XYZ church, we determined that a biblical template needed to be laid across every decision. In addition to being biblical, it is practical (in terms of pleasing our constituency), it is balanced (in terms of distribution of funds), and it is strategic (in that it allows us to get money where it is most needed.) XYZ’s template is Acts 1:8: Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the Earth. Another grid laid across every funding decision is a pre-determined process for evaluating and approving funding.
4. Building a World Christian Strategy & Refining Systems
After steps one through three are done, then you build your application forms, your routing procedures, your board sub-committees that should evaluate each request, your communication procedures for responding to requests, your procedures for obtaining background information, your web sites for distributing your forms and applications, your staff for handling these procedures, your deadlines for submissions, subcommittee meetings, etc. This is the easy part that is constantly being tweaked and perfected. After you’ve established priorities and systems, all you need is more Global and Local Missions funding, tighter systems, greater opportunities, and more God-sized dreams.