Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Getting your church mission-focussed

A friend called me this morning. She had attended a mission meeting in her church a few days ago and was totally frustrated with the meeting. Fortunately, after only thirty minutes, the meeting was finished (with no decisions having been made about anything!) The two pastors were present but had nothing to say. When the chairperson mentioned a certain amount of money that had been budgeted for a specific mission project but that had still not been used, the leaders didn’t say a word. (Most probably they were thinking what they could do with the money in their own church if they don’t have to spend it outside.) Is it surprising then that that specific church has no vision for mission at all?
I get quite a lot of opportunities to preach in other churches. Mostly I’m invited to speak about our work in Swaziland but it is also expected that I would get the congregations where I’m preaching excited about mission. I always enjoy doing this, but in all honesty, I wonder how much of a change I’ve been able to make in people’s lives concerning their involvement in mission. Granted, I don’t have the gift of someone like Billy Graham or Bill Hybels when it comes to speaking, but on the other hand I don’t think I’m all that bad! Taking all things into consideration, I believe the biggest problem is that most churches lack the leadership to get their members involved in mission.
I’ve listened to a number of testimonies of churches which are doing phenomenal things regarding mission in various places in the world. The one message which come through, time and again, is that the leader had to admit that he was the biggest stumbling block in the way of their church doing something outside their walls. In most churches there is a group of people who are ready to do something – people with knowledge and resources and the willingness to do something great. All that they are waiting for is for the leader of the church, either to step aside or to lead the way. In my experience, most church leaders will not step aside and neither will they lead the way – therefore nothing happens.
In most churches there are a number of people ready to do something big. If their enthusiasm is not channelled through a project which their church is involved in, the result will be that they will either lose their enthusiasm, or they will move over to another church where they will be used effectively.
Perhaps it’s time that church members who are enthusiastic about mission should confront their leaders and to ask them, either to lead the way (the better option) or to step aside so that they can do the work.

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Friday, October 17, 2008 - Posted by | Bill Hybels, Church, Mission, Swaziland, Theology

3 Comments »

  1. Interesting — my most recent post says roughly the same thing in fewer words. 🙂

    For my local church, what we all arrived at is a healthy dissatisfaction with status quo. There are a number of people that simultaneously expressed how tired they were of merely keeping their padded pew warm, and we formed a Global Outreach (GO) Team.

    We are now intentionally connecting with a number of initiatives around us, and we’re also committed to reporting on what people are already doing. Hopefully we can bring encouragement and renewed enthusiasm to the outreach efforts of the church. It seems to be working, but we’ve only just begun… 🙂

    Comment by brad | Friday, October 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi Brad.
    “We’ve only just begun…” That was the Carpenters, if I remember correctly.
    If you’re at a healthy dissatisfaction, then that is great. My problem is that most people who are pro-mission are totally frustrated with the status quo and this is not really healthy.
    As a matter of interest: Are you a church leader?

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Friday, October 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. This is right on point . . .

    Comment by sebren | Wednesday, December 3, 2008 | Reply


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