As you prayerfully study your church, your world, and your existing missions relationships, there are many factors which can enable you to discover or discern a strategic missions focus. Here are some questions, as examples, that should help you in the process.
- What are the ministry strengths of your church?
- How has God endowed your church leaders with particular missions interests or passions?
- Are there already significant and strategic ethnic connections within your congregation?
- Do you already support a missionary, team, or project aimed at or bordering an unreached people group?
- Does some missionary or ministry you already support naturally springboard toward a more strategic pioneering work?
- Is there an unusual number of people in your congregation with a particular set of skills or resources which could be used to open doors in a strategic missions ministry (e.g.- medical, mechanical, educational, technological, engineering, business, financing/banking, sports)?
- Does your church already support a missionary with a vision for a neighboring unreached people group?
- Has your church been captivated by ministry potential because of recent contact or world current events?
- Are there potential missionary candidates in your congregation who have a burden for a particular people group workplace?
- Does your community have an unusual number or type of immigrants or refugees from an unreached people group or strategic language group?
- Does your church have particular fellowship or associations/affiliation with other churches which may have an existing strategic focus in which your church can share?
- Is there a significant ethnic student population in your metro area or region which could be accessed as a resource toward reaching some strategic area or people group of the world?
- What strategic areas of the world are most logistically accessible to your church? (i.e.- if your church is along the East Coast United States, the regions represented by Europe, the Middle East, and North and west Africa would be easier to access and support; if your church is along the West Coast United States, the regions represented by the South Pacific East Asia and East and South Africa would be logistically easier)
Prayer and information should be your close friends through this process. The relationships and connections you have now have the seeds of future fruit in a strategic focus. Though your purposes should remain steadfast, the actual picture of your vision will become clearer and more sharply defined as you move forward. Congregational participation through prayer and information sharing will yield greater ownership when the final decisions are made.
Inform your missionaries that you are walking through this process. Ask them for ideas. Find out if one or more of them have had a growing burden for a particular strategic target. You might construct a congregational survey tool to find out more answers to these kinds of questions.
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