It is possible to adopt a missions focus that is not a strategic missions focus. Earlier, we defined a missions focus as:
A missions focus is an intentional commitment giving priority attention and resources to one particular missions goal, project, or relationship.
We have seen that a missions focus can be classified in one of four major categories: a project focus, a missionary-centered focus, a people group or place focus, or a sister church focus.
A strategic missions focus is an intentional commitment giving priority attention and resources to a strategic missions goal, project, or relationship.
As missions consultants to local churches, Propempo urges churches to consider researching, adopting, and implementing a strategic missions focus. We think of Romans 15 as a criteria for “strategic”. There, Paul makes it clear that it is his ambition is to preach the gospel where Christ has not already been named; that is where people have little or no access to the gospel. It’s where the church does not yet exist in sufficient strength to evangelize their own people group. There are some such people groups that have no known witness, whether national or expatriate. “Strategic” in this context means especially strategic to fulfillment of the Great Commission, that is the discipling of all people groups (nations) and establishment of biblical, reproducing, indigenous local churches. Qualifiers for “strategic” are:
- unreached people groups
- unengaged unreached people groups
- limited or no access to the gospel
- creative access people groups or countries
- environments in which overt proselytization may be considered offensive or even illegal
- regions in which evangelical Christianity represents less than 5% of the population
Many churches engage in missions foci that are not strategic. Well drilling and primary health care or dental care clinics amongst a well evangelized population having a long history of indigenous, evangelical churches are examples. Village chapel construction projects, youth VBS STM’s, literature distribution in Western cities, summer camps in highly Christianized regions, and pastoral training of candidates coming from strong indigenous churches are all examples of a legitimate missions focus which do not meet the criteria as particularly strategic to fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Given this strategic framework we prayerfully encourage you to think in terms of adopting a strategic missions focus. We believe that every local church has been invested with grace gifts from God and bridges of relationship and/or connections which would facilitate their own local church’s capacity for participation in a strategic missions focus as their part in helping to fulfill the Great Commission, to the glory of God.
Eph. 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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