Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Philosophy of Missions

This is rather old news, but several months ago, I was asked to add global missions to the ministries that I oversee. While the challenge has been quite daunting, it has also been a ball!  I'll speak more about all of this later, but for the remainder of this post, I'd like to share the philosophy of missions that I have come to adopt.

The Kingdom Wheel: A Philosophy of Mission Partnerships

When it comes to short-term mission trips, the picture that I always share with our teams is of a spoke in a wagon wheel. That little spoke is very limited in what it can accomplish by itself, but when it is followed by another spoke, and another spoke, and another, all connected to the wheel, suddenly you have the potential for great movement. In the same way, a single mission team probably will not move mountains in one or two weeks on the ground, but when it is a part of an ongoing relationship between Christ-centered churches, the impact of that trip cannot be contained. It is with this perspective that our church has recognized the importance of intentional partnerships in our mission endeavors.

The philosophy behind this is pretty simple. Just as our financial support of the Great Commission is based on a partnership with other churches, our conviction is that short-term mission trips can be strategically maximized through supportive relationships with those we serve. We believe that by developing an ongoing partnership with Gospel-sharing teams and individuals around the world, we will develop a better understanding about the needs and challenges in a particular area, our church will be informed to make better decisions in allocating resources to these particular partners, and the members of our church will become more personally engaged in our Lord’s redemptive work around the globe. Also, as the years move forward, the church will be able to hear and see the progress of the Holy Spirit in these particular areas.

While the methods and strategies of our involvement in differing locations may vary, our fundamental commitment is to be obedient to our call to be witnesses of our Lord Jesus to the ends of the earth. We are grateful for the privilege we have to partner with other brothers and sisters around the world in this mission, and by His grace we can say that we are thrilled to be “a spoke in the wheel.”

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