One of the most frequently asked quandaries presented to Propempo to solve goes like this:
Our church supports missionaries scattered all over the globe. There seems to be no consistent rationale for supporting them. They have widely disparate ministries and goals. Our congregation has little sense of ownership or relationship with our missionaries. It seems like a shotgun approach barely held together by some relationship to our pastors, past or present. How can we change this? How can we bring a sense of focus and strategic effectiveness to our church’s missions commitments?
A missions focus is an intentional commitment, giving priority attention and resources to one particular missions goal, project, or relationship.
As we’ll learn in coming sections of this chapter on “Focus,” walking through the decision process in selecting the focus should not imply that your church drops all previous commitments and relationships to support other ministries. Likewise, it doesn’t mean that you are limited to one single focus. However, choosing a focus for your missions efforts can be one of the most effective, liberating, and galvanizing things you can do in missions leadership and mobilization.
There are a number of remarkable Bible examples of dynamic results from a strategic focus:
- the building of the Tabernacle and all the articles for worship of Jehovah in the wilderness
- the building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem
- rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem by Nehemiah
- Paul’s ambition to go to “the regions beyond, where Christ has not been named”
One outstanding example is an observation from God Himself in Genesis 11:6 upon the building of the Tower of Babel: “And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” Suffice it to say that God attributes tremendous synergistic value to the efforts of a group of people truly focused on a specific strategic goal.
We’re not guaranteeing miraculous results. Yet, we have seen over and over again how God has used a focus to enable a congregation to achieve previously unimaginable ministry results on the mission field for the glory of God. We hope that you will prayerfully consider leaving your church through a process of identifying a strategic missions focus. (Note: see the distinction between a “missions focus” and a “strategic missions focus” in a later page in this chapter. It will be a blessing to everyone involved.
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Your Focus on the World is an excellent, motivational guidebook for the process of identifying a strategic mission focus in harmony with your congregational connections and values. It doesn’t impose a specific direction for your focus, but encourages strategic values, relationships, and outcomes. The book is full of real-life case studies of churches from a wide array of backgrounds and traditions which have gone through similar processes with good results. Contact Catalyst Services directly to obtain the book and related materials.