Welcome to Missions On Point, the Propempo perspective on church and missions.
Thank you for being here with us on episode 160 of Missions on Point. This episode is in the series of key role players or stakeholders in implementation of local church centered missions. This episode has to do with the missions leader, so it's number 19 in our total as a preview of the book that we're writing on this subject. It's the second one of key roles or stakeholders. The first is the lead pastor. Today is the missions leader. We're moving on to missionary mentors in the church, then the missionary candidate and missionary, the mission agency, missions donor and missionary training school. Stay tuned for those. Please follow or subscribe to Missions on Point.
As we talk about the mission leaders role in implementation of this biblical local church centered missions philosophy, we go to the propempo.com website. I'm excited to tell you that the Missions on Point podcast now has transcriptions available. There is a little lag time in the most recent episodes being posted as transcriptions, but they will be there. For the missions leader, when you go to propempo.com, click on the menu for resources and go down to Missions on Point series list, and it lists all the Missions on Point episodes by topic. Actually, almost all of the Missions on Point episodes are applicable to the missions leader.
Whether your title is staff missions pastor, or part-time missions pastor, missions leader, missions chairman, missions director. If you are the missions leader for your church, you know it and you need to be familiar with the Missions on Point podcasts. I know at least one church in our local area that makes listening to Missions on Point podcasts a requirement for all their missions team members.
In addition, on the propempo.com website, if you go to the homepage and scroll down several screens worth, you'll get to an area where it shows several key roles and the missions pastor role has a lot of articles that you should be interested in. The missions leader role is not simply convening or calling the meetings of the missions team, chairing or moderating the meeting.
It's not doing missions on behalf of the missions team or on behalf of the church. It is equipping and leading the missions team to get the whole church mobilized for missions. It has more layers of responsibility in terms of communication, relational ability, delegation of responsibilities to the missions team and others outside of the missions team. As we adopt this local church centered view, you're going to be more involved with raising up candidates for missions, mentoring them, guiding them, tracking with them through all of their development and education and pre-field preparation.
You'll be involved in shepherding them. You are the key person in the church to help with all of these things. So you may be thinking, "Wait, help, I need some help doing these or understanding these things." Send a flag up, send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, ask a question, go to the propempo.com website and find resources, links to other resources that will help you do your job.
By God's grace, I've been involved in helping to train and mentor missions pastors in churches scattered all around the US. I think understanding this biblical local church centered ministry philosophy gives the missions pastor similar to the lead pastor, more freedom not to be pulled in a hundred different directions, to minister with confidence in God's design and to see clearly the desired goals and outcomes of the ministry. It gives focus to choose the best over the good, to invest in discipleship and equipping and to become more effective because of having a clearer vision. It also gives you fortitude because of a better understanding of the big picture of God's plan and understanding how the local church engages with and owns missions.
One of the first skills you need to nail down as a missions pastor to adopt and undertake this biblical ministry philosophy is to understand the church's role in missions biblically. So go back to episode 142 through 149 and look at the introduction to biblically understanding it and understanding the local church in missions, in Christ's view, in view of obedience to the Great Commission, in the view of the original hearers of the Great Commission of the whole New Testament, and in Paul's view, in God's view. And lastly, we do a word study of the Propempo view. That is the word study of Propempo in the New Testament. If you have those things down, then you'll be able to communicate and work with your missions team to come to an agreement and understanding about the local church's position and role in God's big plan for missions.
Once you get out of the starting gate with that biblical foundation, then you're off to the races in implementing it for your church. Then you can begin thinking about missions committee essentials, how the committee operates, what is the scope of authority and role of the missions committee or missions team, and how you do that on a month to month, year to year basis. You may want to assess where your church is in 12 different categories of missions ministry within the church by going to our church missions profile assessment tool online. You can find that @sendforward.org or propempo.com.
You'll want to give some attention to sending missionaries from your church. What does that really mean? How do we even identify candidates and what do we do with them? There's a couple of series of podcasts on those things, starting with podcast 84 and going on, including a whole series on church-based missionary training.
You want to evaluate your whole short-term missions opportunities and make them much more local church centric in terms of your goals, your people, your plans, and in relation to the missionaries that you already support. You'll also be nudged into reevaluating the missionaries and ministries you do support in light of what you want to be the outcome in the future, and the kinds of relationships and the kinds of ministries that you support based on this biblical local church centric missions philosophy.
If you are also going to take the step to adopt a strategic focus, it's going to take some time and effort to organize that, to do it well, to be inclusive of as many people as possible, to come up with the ideal focus or goal for future missions at your church. Propempo International and MissioSERVE Alliance staff can help you walk through that process.
You'll also want to survey and evaluate how your church is doing in shepherding the ministries and missionaries that you presently have. It doesn't mean you have to jump on a plane and fly all over the globe starting tomorrow. However, it does mean that you need to communicate with your missionaries and find out what their needs are, concerns are, and what opportunities there would be for a member of your church leadership, shepherding or counseling staff within the missions team or the elders to go and actually visit, shadow, learn about them, get to know them on the field level, and then report back to the team and the church, how they're doing and how we can help them stay for the longterm. It probably means that you're going to be become involved in starting or launching a Barnabas team or a prayer and care team for each of the missionaries that are most closely aligned in relationship to your church.
If they came from your church, were sent out by your church, they need to have that kind of core group behind them for support and encouragement. I don't want you to view this episode as a burden for you as the missions leader. I want it to be a challenge, an encouragement to step up and do what is biblically appropriate to follow this local church centered ministry philosophy, it is the best. Let me tell a couple stories about helping missions leaders in churches come around to this idea. The first one is one in New Mexico, the church had come to the point where they felt like they wanted to do something that was challenging, captivating, visionary, and focus with regard to fulfilling the Great commission. They had a couple of people that were interested in going to a really hard place in Northern Africa. They had a brand new missions director.
They didn't know exactly what to do, so they asked me to come alongside and basically be a longer term consultant to help their church, their elders, their missions team, understand what the steps were from the precipitating factor of having people that they wanted to send out to the field, to rethinking and organizing their whole missions ministries of the church and missions team along these lines of being biblically local church centered in their ministry philosophy.
In short, it was transformative and great. Thankfully, the guy who was the missions director was a very willing and malleable student who was eager to learn new things and wanted to take on the job. He had a lot of energy and the people that he was working with within the elders, accepted and moved along with him in terms of moving the ball forward down the field to get to the goal of sending these dear members out to Northern Africa, and they did. It was a slow, steady process. The church actually took the major part of all the funding of that to make it all happen, in the end. Those people have been on the field now for a significant number of years and bearing fruit in the gospel for Christ's sake and for his glory.
Another church, the pastor called me who had been a long-term friend and he said, "Listen, we have a brand new missions pastor, he's come from another area of the church into this role as missions pastor, he knows nothing about being a missions pastor and frankly, our church, which has long been established and we think missions minded, has missions in disarray, we need to figure out how to restart, reboot, recalibrate our missions to be more local church centered in our missiology and understanding and involve more of the congregation in actually owning and feeling the relationship of the missionaries and ministries that we support."
So similarly, they engaged me for a long-term relationship to be able to come in and work first with the elders, first biblically, and then start working from there to rebuild their whole missions ministry in the church. They have a missions team that really gets it, and they're permeating the whole church with this local church centered mindset of owning missions and missionaries.
After several years of pause on their annual missions conference, of which they had previously been very proud and now realized was a little bit off target, they restarted their missions conference and everything that they're doing, even week by week and month by month is right in line with their church values and a biblically local church centered missions philosophy. They're having a grand time and they're working hard toward raising up and sending out people from their midst to go to far-flung fields for the sake of the gospel.
Many other churches have been helped, not with such a long-term relationship, but with an intensive weekend of biblical teaching, training and implementation through the elders and the missions team. Frankly, the common response is, "Why haven't we heard this before? We didn't know how to do this, this has been revolutionary to our thinking, we feel like our eyes are now opened, we are so much better able to do and to achieve good things in missions because of having this training."
God gets all the glory for many churches, small, medium, large sized churches that have had their eyes opened to this biblical perspective, and it gives them such confidence in moving forward as a whole church family to own embrace, and to forward the cause of great commission ministry because of understanding their role better, biblically and practically.
Missions leader, I pray that you would get it too, that you would understand and it would help you and encourage you to move along lines that are more biblically consistent and have stronger ownership by your church, so you're not feeling like you're swimming against the tide all the time, that everyone is with you and you have inculcated that, taught, led by example, modeled, help them understand their role, so that missions becomes this almost unstoppable wave of outreach within your whole church family, both locally and globally. May it be so for God's glory.
Thanks for joining us today on Missions On Point. We trust that you'll find more help and resources on our websites at propempo.com and missioserve.org.
We are so thankful for those who support us, enabling us to produce this podcast. Now, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever. Amen.
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