When a group of small church pastors heard me describe the level of global engagement of the small church I had planted and was currently pastoring, the first thing they wanted to know was HOW I moved it to where it was at.
I said that before I could tell them the nuts and the bolts of HOW I did it, they needed to know the reasons WHY we had become what we were.
SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL CONVICTIONS
It’s because I’m convinced of these seven truths:
1– The God of the bible is The Missionary God…He has been seeking to save the lost since the fall took place.
2–To be restored to a right relationship with Him through Jesus includes the privilege and the responsibility of being His representative through which He continues seeks to save the lost that remain–for His glory and their good.
3–He is the creator of all the ethnic and linguistic diversity from which every person derives a foundational portion of their identity.
4–He’s already revealed that His end-game plan to receive worship from representatives of each and every group WILL become a reality at a future point in time.
5–The local church is the primary vessel/vehicle that He created to accomplish His end-game plan.
6–His end-game plan and the role and responsibility local churches have to participate in helping to bring it in to reality MUST be implanted in to the DNA of every local church at the first gathering and then on a regular basis throughout its lifespan.
7–Meaningful participation in God’s global purposes from inception is never dependent on congregation size, financial resource base, or level of local community impact.
RETHINKING THE “MINISTRY PIE” OF A LOCAL CHURCH
I then shared the illustration of an uneaten pie sitting in the pan and having slices that represent each ministry of the church. Using that illustration, in most churches, global missions would either be one whole slice or a portion of the outreach slice.
But that because of my firmly held belief in those seven truths, I was compelled to re-think and re-apply the ministry pie illustration for the church God called me to plant and pastor.
Instead, I told them that in my view, global missions isn’t a slice of the ministry pie at all–it’s actually the pan the whole ministry pie sits in.
I summarized my answer by saying that because participation in God’s global purposes is a foundational reason for the existence of our church, that larger-than-our-own-interests vision and mission needed to permeate every facet and contribute a significant portion of the meaning and purpose of all of the slices that make up the ministry pie of our church.