Regardless of their size, every local church is both called and capable of participating in what God is doing around the world to bring about His end-game plan.
As a result of my primary area of ministry–helping local churches to Send Well, I was recently asked to describe the kind of church that is actively engaged in being obedient to the Great Commission.
WHAT GLOBALLY ENGAGED CHURCHES KNOW
Although local churches that have global impact vary in size and come from a large spectrum of denominational and non-denominational traditions, there are six foundational truths that they each of them know:
1–WHO they worship
Churches with global impact recognize that from the time God took the initiative to engage Adam and Eve after their rebellion, down through the centuries, and on into the future, the God of the bible —their God, is The Missionary God. That He is worthy of having His praises proclaimed to all people and deserving to receive what Jesus said He seeks—spirit and truth filled worshipers
2–WHY they must participate…
Churches with global impact believe the Great Commission is to be taken seriously by every Christian and every church. Its members are confident that the “end game” He has revealed in Revelation 5:9 and Revelation 7:9, will become a reality, and they believe He has invited them to have a hands-on role in the fulfillment of that truly global worship service
3–HOW they can participate…
When churches have a global impact they are informed and creatively engaged in reaching out to the people from other countries, languages, cultures, and religions that God has purposely relocated in to their own local community. Well-planned short-term mission trips composed of specifically trained church members are are also an integral part of this church’s global missions involvemen
4–WHERE God is calling them to focus their global endeavors…
Churches with a global impact primarily concentrate their multifaceted global missions involvement on the few countries that He has given them a burden for long term impact. In many ways, the members of this church possess an out of the ordinary knowledge of the places and people in the parts of the world which God has called them to zero in on.
5–WHEN God is calling one or more of them to GO!
A global impact church is confident that as they worship, serve, pray, and intentionally participate at numerous levels in God’s global purposes, He will call a few of them to become missionaries.They are convinced that when He calls them to go, He will confirm their calling to the leaders/overseers of the church and those that they have served alongside.
6–WHAT it takes to send their fellow members in a manner worthy of God…
A global impact church navigates in accordance with a written missions policy that its leaders have developed. Evidence of calling, a clearly described path for a potential missionary to follow, and the significant benefits of a church member completing the process before departure are key aspects of the policy. Caring for those that are sent is a high priority and people-based structures are established to serve and encourage those who go while they are on the field and when they return to the U.S.
The leaders of local churches that know these six things will inevitably act on what God revealed to them. In fact, it’s just not possible to truly know them and then be apathetic about being a part of what God is doing around the world.
WHAT THEY DO BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY KNOW
What they know will always move them to DO these nine things. They will:
- Instill a bible-based understanding of God’s reasons for creating the diversity of ethnicities, languages, and cultures that He assigns each person to be born in to and derive a large portion of their identity from.
- Regularly remind the members that though their church may be small, it still a significant part of a much bigger and global work that God is doing.
- Infuse every ministry and every member of the church with a vision and passion to make God known both across the street and around the world.
- Ensure that at least one update on what God is doing outside the borders of the United States is included as a part of every gathering of the church’s members.
- Move the church to adopt, become informed about, and pray for an unreached or unengaged people group. Also to pray for and commit to financially support the missionaries and ministries trying to reach that people group.
- Help every member to become knowledgeable about the ethnicities, languages, and cultures of the people that God has brought from around the world to live in their church’s local community.
- Discover and promote creative onramps for church members to engage the people from around the world that now live in their neighborhoods.
- Develop a short-term missions ministry which provides opportunity for cross- cultural service outside the borders of the United States, and that God might use to ignite a long-term missionary calling in the lives of some of those that went on the trips.
- Establish a missions leadership team that will create a written missions policy that includes an easy to understand path and process for a potential missionary to follow.
A local church that comes to KNOW their God afresh, will DO those things that will transform them into a Global Impact church.
What a blessing to behold!