God’s people need Vision. They need to be called, reminded, exhorted, and cajoled towards God’s view, ways, purposes, and plans. As we think about providing Vision for a local church, I wanted to share 2 short thoughts:
- Your church, no matter how big, is too small to complete the Great Commission on their own. BUT, they can choose a piece of it, and say, “Lord, in Your grace, would You allow us to see THIS piece of your mission completed?! Oh Father, have mercy, and give us THIS People Group, or THAT Country, or THIS Tribe.” Like Rachel, we cry, “give us children (spiritual offspring for us) or we die!” So, your church needs a Vision for who you are reaching and why. You can’t reach them all, but you can strategically direct your prayers, efforts, labors, and finances towards reaching part of the remaining unreached world. Many churches struggle with this, and find themselves supporting a lot of work in a lot of places. You end up not really sure, after a few years, who all those people are in the pictures on the mission bulletin board. Folks talk about the Smiths and THEIR mission in country x, y, or z. They don’t talk about OUR mission…our congregation’s call from God to reach the nations has been lost. They’ve scattered their efforts, and the results are often confusion, diffusion, and apathy. There’s actually a really simple process for helping bring a strategic and powerful focus to your church’s mission engagement, and we’ll get there in a couple more posts!
- Dear Pastor, it’s been said that if you want your people to bleed, you have to hemorrhage (Hendricks). Another forgotten sage say it this way: “it won’t burn in them if it doesn’t burn in you!” So, brothers, if you don’t lead your people to embrace God’s heart for the Unreached, who will? I’m not saying you have to lead the mission committee, or even be on it, but I am saying that if you don’t champion God’s global purposes in front of your people, they aren’t going to get it. You are the lead culture shaper of your church! It’s amazing how a congregation grows to be more and more like their lead teacher. So, John MacArthur’s congregation all carry study bibles around, digging deep into the word. Why? Because their under-shepherd showed them how. David Platt’s former church was sending missionary after missionary…why? Because their under-shepherd burned with a burden for those that have never heard the name of Jesus. The pews become like the pulpit! You don’t have to do everything yourself, but you do have to lead the way in passion for the nations. Need help? Read Let the Nations be Glad (free here!) by John Piper, take the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course, and begin praying through Operation World.
A friend pastored a church for several years. He caught a heart for mission. He preached God’s heart for mission. He had folks leave his church from time to time saying, “you preach too much about mission.” He said, as they left, “you can put that on my tombstone!” After preaching about our beautiful, global God for a decade, he moved to the Muslim world as a missionary, to practice what he’d been preaching. There is amazing, global fruit that has come out of that little church in rural Oklahoma all because the under-shepherd helped his flock catch the vision! If you need help, do not hesitate to let us know. We are passionate about local churches finding their role in the Great Commission.