Entering The Mission Stream begins with a fresh understanding of who God is and what His end-game plans are for humanity.
When those truths are perceived by individuals or the leaders of a local church, they will be provoked to wade on in to this amazing and ongoing expression of God’s heart for all mankind.
Entrance in to the stream exposes them to its flow, which influences them and moves them to do at least six different things.
The understanding they gain from the initial influence of the flow upon their lives will move them into the next section of the stream, where it deepens and widens.
WHAT THE DEEPER AND WIDER SECTION PRODUCES
God has uniquely designed this segment of The Mission Stream to enable those moving along with its flow to understand the distinct but integrated roles that He has designed for local churches as churches to have, along with His design for each individual that composes the membership of those local churches.
In other words, this is the place in the stream where the individuals in a local church and the church as one entity, discovers and then takes seriously the role He wants them to play in the ongoing fulfilment of His end-game plan.
IN LOCAL CHURCHES
It’s in this section of the stream that the leaders of local churches will begin doing these things:
–Instilling in their members 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 reminding the members that their church is exactly the size God wants it to be and that whatever size it is, He has a significant role for them to play in what He is doing around the world.
–Infusing 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.
–Ensuring that at least one update on what God is doing outside the borders of the U.S.A. is included as a part of every gathering of the church’s members.
–Moving the church to adopt an unengaged/unreached people group and become as informed about them as possible, pray for them, and commit to financially support the missionaries and ministries trying to reach that people group.
–Helping 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 local community.
–Challenging the members of the church to discover creative onramps to engage their neighbors from around the world, and then publicly promote what they are doing to the whole church, challenging them to participate in what God has begun through a fellow church member.
–Developing a short-term missions ministry designed to provide church members the opportunity for cross-cultural servanthood outside the borders of the United States, asking God to use this ministry of the church to ignite a long-term missionary calling in the lives of some of those that He permits to go on the trips.
–Establishing a missions leadership team that will create a written missions policy that includes an easy to understand path and process that can be followed by a person who is sensing that God may be calling them to become a missionary
IN INDIVIDUALS WHOSE LOCAL CHURCH ISN’T ALREADY IMMERSED
When the individuals that entered The Mission Stream arrive at this deeper and wider segment, even if the leaders of their church haven’t yet come to understand it and therefore haven’t begun moving the church to participate in its flow, what they have learned will move them to:
–Pass on what they have learned about God and His end-game, to other believers.
–Invite other believers to join them in prayer for the fulfilment of the great commission
–Initiate personal contact with the missionaries their church supports
–Seize every opportunity to meet with missionaries visiting their community
–Engage in cross-cultural ministry in their local community
–Pray for their church leaders to come to know what God has already revealed to them about who He is, what His end-game plan is, and the great privilege of entering in to The Mission Stream.
–Humbly inform their church leaders about the local cross-cultural ministry they have become involved in.
IN INDIVIDUALS WHOSE CHURCHES ARE ALREADY IN THE STREAM
For those individuals who are part of churches that are already immersed in the stream, all of the things mentioned above will make it much easier for them to both participate in what their church is already doing and to also discover the specific role that God has for them personally.
THE ROLE HE ASSIGNS TO MOST INDIVIDUALS
The majority of individuals that enter the deeper and wider section of the stream will do the things mentioned above–culminating in them becoming informed, helpful, and encouraging SENDERS, and possibly financial supporters of those who go, even as they are engaged in some way in their local community.
THE ROLE HE ASSIGNS TO SOME INDIVIDUALS
When some of those who have entered the deeper and wider section of the stream and have begun doing the things mentioned above, our Missionary God will begin to stir their hearts to be open to the possibility of Him calling them to leave everything familiar and comfortable behind and become a missionary.
The calling to be a GOER and thus to begin navigating in the current of the stream that leads to going to the mission field themselves will not only be confirmed to them, He will also confirm their calling to those they have relationships with that are also in the flow of The Mission Stream, and the leaders of their local church.
The effect produced by passing through the deeper and wider section of The Mission Stream will always be local churches that reach out across the street and around the world more wisely and vigorously than ever, and the individual members of those churches passionately discovering and then being obedient to His calling as someone who SENDS or someone who GOES.