Pastors and Church Leaders Make this Deal Far too Often
When I was in the midst of our Churches for Rural China campaign in 2012, we had sent out over 1200 postcards to churches in Colorado, Texas and Georgia. The heart and the hope behind the campaign was to connect Churches in these three states with Churches in Rural China that were desperately praying for a Church Building of their own. For about $40,000 USD, we can help these churches have a church building of their own that they then use not only for Sunday Services, but all manner of evangelical and training ministries. Explosive stuff!
As I began researching and calling these churches, I was utterly shocked as to how many of these churches had no local or international expression of Great Commission fulfillment. It was probably something in the neighborhood of 8 out of 10! This was particularly shocking when you consider how clearly Jesus’ command is for churches to expressly make it there main job to make disciples, both locally and internationally!
It was at this time that I began to understand how few churches were truly involved in Great Commission fulfillment and how many pastors and church leaders had made a deal with their people. The deal goes something like this: You give us some money to keep the lights on and pay a few salaries, and we won’t ask they much of you, and we’ll say together that we’re doing all that God wants us to be doing. Of course, the problem with this deal is several fold: Scripture teaches us that we are all called to Great Commission fulfillment and that the Church is the hope of the world, the bride and body of Christ. It is God hope that His message and the training of disciples would largely occur through the Church.
For those Church leaders who are ready to break this deal and begin to see God use you to be a Great Commission fulfilling and disciple making church, here are 5 simple steps to use in the process:
1. Make sure all your people know how to share their testimony. This is easy and something that a simple class can solve.
2. Begin ‘The Art of Neighboring, and be ‘on mission’ right where you are. Teach your people how to build bridges of friendship with their neighbors strong enough to carry the weight of the Gospel.
3. Begin to pray where God would want to use your church, both domestically and internationally, believing that the purpose of your church is to go and make disciples.
4. Strategically look for places in your local area where you can serve. Begin asking city officials where their greatest point of need is, and meet it. Build a bridge of friendship and service in your community that is strong enough to carry the weight of the gospel.
5. Finally, adopt this phrase and teach it to EVERYONE at your church, ‘Life is a long term missions trip, and every week is a short term mission opportunity.’ Live by this and embrace this.