Welcome to Missions On Point, the Propempo perspective on church and missions. Hi, I'm glad you're listening. Today. We are on the second of a four-part series on your church missions profile. Part of the dilemma that churches have is how to evaluate their missions' ministries. There's not much written about it. Most churches simply measure their activity and performance, if you will, against last year's data. That's actually not a great idea. Simply because if you always measure yourself against yourself, you don't have an objective measurement or benchmark to measure against, and you don't really know how well you're doing. You may be doing a smidge better than last year. But how are you doing in the bigger picture of things, and what is the scope of your measurement? Is it one or two little metrics that you always look at every year? Like how much money the church is giving, or how much money compared to the budget, or how many people went on a short-term missions trip? Those are very limited in scope.
The Propempo Church missions profile looks at 12 areas. It's not completely comprehensive, but it's many more than most churches do, and it is a great foundation for understanding more objective benchmarks based against the experience and practices of the best churches across the US.
This series of Missions on Point will walk through those 12 categories. But if you want to start your church missions profile, go to the propempo.com website and look for big button on the top that says "Start your Church missions profile." It will take you through a series of steps to begin the online dynamic self-assessment through each of the 12 areas. The resulting product at the end is a very significant 15-page or so recommendation list showing how you assessed yourself and what specific steps and resources you can access to improve your score over time.
I would strongly encourage you to subscribe or follow the podcast and listen to all four in the series to get the overview of the 12 categories of evaluation. Each of the 12 categories are graded or self-assessed on what we call the P scale, starting from the lowest to the highest. Those numbers are like this.
The first one is possibility. Missions is just a possibility.
The second one is we treat missions as a project. From time to time, we enter into some issue of missions.
The third one is that missions is a program. It is built into our church's program and calendar in a way. It may not be noticed much by the congregation at large.
The fourth level is priority. That is, we do make it a priority and we speak of it more often.
The fifth level is purpose. We consider missions to be a purpose in each of the 12 areas as we evaluate it. It means that our church takes seriously the role of missions in our existence.
The sixth area, top level, is passion, and that is missions is a particular focus and strategic element of our identity as a church. We work on missions hard and we know that everyone should be involved. Overall, Missions on Point, and Propempo, would love for your church to have a vision for the growth of missions effectively, biblically in your church. Specifically with an end goal of seeing your church produce and send missionaries to unreached people groups around the world to fulfill the great commission for God's glory.
Here we are in the church missions profile. We've looked at some foundational issues or categories. Meaning, the biblical foundations and local outreach, and missions education overall. We're dealing with leadership in this episode. Church leaders, the missions team or missions committee is more commonly called, and beginning to talk about personal involvement with individual participation.
The first question for today is how do our church leaders measure up on the achievement of benchmarks? The first level is our leaders would like to see our church support a missionary or do some missions activities. It's primarily a wish.
The next level is our leaders occasionally promote cross-cultural missions ministries. They may know of things or have certain things on the calendar that pop up, which encourage them to state something to the church regarding world missions.
The third level is our leaders ensure our ongoing missions program has people to lead and promote it. That is, there is something of a structure there in this program level in which missions is hands-on for a select group of people. But if missions is a priority, the church leader, primarily the pastor and leaders, regularly give visibility to missions in platform time, illustrations, and in their corporate prayer.
The fifth level is that leaders of every ministry are personally involved and have ministry goals that contribute to fulfilling the great commission. Sunday school classes, youth group, even music ministry has a role in promoting and encouraging world missions by what you sing and how you support the events and ministries of world Missions.
The highest level, the sixth level, is that church leaders have such a vision for fulfilling the great commission, that the great commission actually guides their planning, their hiring, their budgeting, and their celebrating of every ministry. I jokingly say in our training that if the lead or senior pastor or primary teaching pastor of the church doesn't have a vision for missions, then send him to the mission field to experience it. Let him taste and see and smell and feel what missions is like for a missionary on the field, and then when he gets it, give him the return ticket back home. I've had a number of pastors tell me that visiting a missionary on the field, and seeing what life was like there, completely and radically change their personal convictions and priority of missions for themselves and for their ministry. I've also seen the flip side. I've had pastors make noise like they feel that missions is a rival to their personal priorities, rather than the big picture for which their personal priorities must fit into.
We're going to move to the next category, and that is the missions team. Many churches call it missions committee, which is a legacy term. We really encourage the use of missions team. It's much more dynamic, has some goals involved in it, has people working together as a team. One of the key factors, which we'll see as this gets unpacked, is that the missions team doesn't do missions on behalf of the church. The missions team mobilizes the whole church to be involved in missions. That single paradigm shift can make a huge difference in effectiveness of missions in your church.
Here's the scale for the missions team. It starts with the possibility that we have a few people who would be interested in starting a missions team.
The second level is we have an individual or team that occasionally leads a missions project.
The third level, or program level, is our church has a designated missions team or committee or board, whatever you call it, that does meet regularly.
On the priority level, our missions team operates faithfully, strategically, and effectively in carrying out the missions ministry.
But the purpose level goes like this. The missions leadership team also encourages all the ministries of the church to incorporate a world missions dimension into their ministries. The highest level is the passion level of missions team. This says that the missions leadership team also assists leaders and ministries to carry out a productive role in the great commission. You're providing opportunities, information, inspiration, to see that every ministry has some kind of active role in the support of world missions.
The next issue or category begins to get into personal involvement. Those categories under personal involvement include individual participation, prayer, giving, short-term missions, and missionary care.
But just for individual participation in this episode, here's the possibility level. Some individuals of our church are interested in getting involved in missions. Interest in itself doesn't mean involvement, but there's interest.
The second level is individuals from our church occasionally get involved in a missions trip or a project. I know many churches are at this level.
The program, or third level, is our church enlists individuals to assist in some missions emphasis or event annually or quarterly.
The fourth level of priority says our church regularly promotes multiple opportunities for personal involvement in supporting and doing missions. This level turns the corner from a missions team doing missions on behalf of the church, to the missions team actually mobilizing and providing opportunities for church members to be involved.
The fifth level, or purpose level, is our people are frequently urged to get personally involved in missions as a normal part of their Christian life and responsibility. In fact, that's true. Whether it's through local evangelism, or giving, or prayer, or missionary care, which is coming down the road, the individuals know that they have a specific role that they can play that will help and further world missions to fulfill the great commission.
The highest level says this. The majority of our church members have a personal and active role in missions. In fact, if you were to poll the church body, most everyone would say, "I know my role, and here's what I'm doing on a regular and faithful basis." Now, there's a couple of things you can do with this information. You can say, "Okay. That's cool. Somebody's involved in that. Somebody's interested in that." Or you can say, "What can I do to increase my participation in world missions to get a better handle on world missions? How can I encourage my church leaders to get more involved? What things can I do specifically to increase my church's effectiveness in its place in world mission?" Every local church has a role. Every local church has things that they can contribute that are unique to the church worldwide in fulfilling the great commission.
What is your church's role? Pray about it. See how the Lord might use you to be an instigator, to take initiative to spark a greater interest and larger effectiveness in world missions. You can help your church leaders, and yourself, just by going to propempo.com and clicking around and finding all the resources and articles that are there. You can also go to vimeo.com/propempo to see a pretty wide range of videos and teaching videos there available for church leaders. Certainly, you can subscribe to the church missions profile, take the self-assessment, and do it on a regular basis every year to see how you're growing.
The biggest part of Propempo's missions paths section has well over a hundred articles for the missions team in sort of every aspect of missions team, ministry, and goals. Definitely, this idea of individual participation needs to be nurtured and cultivated for it to grow in your congregation to the point where, as many churches have testified, because of Propempo's influence, they're doing so much more in missions than they can even keep track of, because people are so committed and involved with a passion for the great commission for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hey, let us know if you have any ideas or reflections on these episodes. You can email us at the email address email@example.com. Just email questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for joining us today on Missions on Point, the Propempo perspective on church and missions. I trust that you'll find more help and resources on the website propempo.com. Please preferably consider supporting this ministry. Now to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, forever and ever. Amen.
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