If we were consistent with our convictions and the priorities of Scripture, the second full-time ministry staff position in the church would be the missions and outreach pastor. Missions is the core of the church’s existence and purpose. Missions is the heart from which all other ministry lifeblood flows. If you get the missions priority right, all the other priorities of the church will be in harmony and alignment; they will all more naturally have a vision and understand their complementary parts of the big picture.
The church leaders who figure out that missions is a nonnegotiable priority for the church will find that everything else in the church functions better. Part of the reason this is true, humanly speaking, is that people respond with amazing dynamism and generosity to a church that is not self-centered in its outlook and ministry philosophy. “It’s not about US. It’s about God and His purposes. It’s not about expanding OUR kingdom; it’s about expanding HIS kingdom.” Those two kingdoms are not the same thing! You take care to be focused on His kingdom, and “all these things will be added to you.”
If the people of the church do not explicitly hear from the leaders this kind of outward focused purpose and ministry philosophy, they will not deduce it on their own. In fact, if they don’t learn it from the leaders, the leaders are in danger of being impediments and a blockage to the flow of blessing and resources. Check it out: the great promise of God doing “exceedingly, abundantly, above all we ask or imagine” in Eph. 3:20-21 in given in the context of a whole chapter explaining the priority of missions in the church in God’s big plan. We propose that believers are not even eligible to claim such abundant blessings without the condition of being in alignment with God’s missions purposes.
What priority should missions have? High, if not highest, priority! High visibility! High on the list of ministry philosophy! High in the hearts and minds of every ministry leader and taught to every congregant!