goIn spending some time with several of our churches working through being more strategic, I've learned a few things that will increase your churches global effectiveness in mission.

1. Be intentional and focused
When it comes to engaging in mission globally, many churches are simply carried along by whatever wave happens to pick them up. Some support a number of mission partners in numbers of locations doing a variety of ministries. Does the congregation know these workers? Does anyone have a connection to their ministry? Are these mission partners doing what they were sent out to do?

All too often, a church's global mission develops in isolation away from the mission and vision of the sending church. When an individual or a couple feels called to serve cross culturally, their calling is treated as personal and private. We need to remember this is God's mission through His Church. We rarely run these callings through the grid of the church's vision and focus.

Wouldn't it be better if we approached global missions in the same way we approach starting a youth group, worship team or local church plant? With intentionality, creativity and careful planning? Think what increased intentionality and focus would do to the outcomes of global mission, both for the sent (the mission partners) and the senders (the local church).

2. Global mission should be the outgrowth of local mission.
A great way to develop a global strategy that makes sense is to target ministries that fi t what you are already doing in your own location. I've noticed that those who have a focus in university cities around certain cultural groups end up developing relationships with those groups with some even sending mission partners globally to those people groups. Several of our churches host orchard workers from Vanuatu and have successfully developed mission strategies around those relationships that lead back to Vanuatu.

3. Geography matters very little.
We are very quick to defi ne "missions" in terms of geography. Geography is incidental as missions can happen anywhere. Missions has much more to do with the act of engaging the un-gospeled, wherever we find them, with the good news of Christ's Kingdom. We need to encourage churches to build their strategies around mission type fi rst and ministry location secondarily. This approach emphasises that global missions are
an outgrowth of local missions, and positions churches to work with their strengths and gifting when it comes to global missions.

4. Follow the relationships.
If you are not sure where to start, why not ask yourselves, "where in the world do we already have a connection?" Have you supported a handful of mission partners over the years? Start by looking at their ministries. Where do you have especially strong relationships? Who is doing ministry that resonates with your vision and mission? The challenge is not just being givers or short term visitors in these relationships. Choose a relationship that enables engagement over a long period with outcomes related to church planting and the expansion of the church rather than purely humanitarian needs.

If your church is searching for a good relationship, ask these questions: Who does the Lord keep bringing to our minds? How do these fit with our past history as a church? Do we gravitate toward any places or kinds of ministries? Who do we already know who is working in those kinds of ministries or places?

5. Choose depth over breadth.
Having a church mission's strategy is about sharpening your focus to increase your effectiveness, but it isn't about closing off new opportunities. Ideally, you want to have no more than a good handful of target ministries where you invest deeply, all of which lead back to a central strategy that everyone in your church knows how to describe. And if this global strategy is the logical partner to your local strategy, all the better.

I am available to help your church with your mission's strategy. Contact Russell Thorp, Missions Director for GC3 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 021481088

Russell Thorp

 

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