Learning from Jesus the mobiliser
The gospels illuminate for us Jesus’s life and movements to accomplish the mission of God, through mobilisation.
The first lesson I learned from studying the gospels is that the primary purpose of mobilisation is discipleship; that Jesus’s call, command and challenge to pray was for Christians to be active in discipleship. This is not about a programme or a period of service in mission. Discipleship is a relationship of obedience and dedication to the Master. We can see in Mark 3:14 that Jesus’s mobilisation of individuals to follow Him was a missional call of discipleship. There we are reminded that when Jesus mobilised the twelve as Apostles, it was to be with him, a companionship, which in turn enabled Jesus to send them out. It is essential that we view mobilisation as a companion-like journeying with an individual, family or a Christian community into discipleship.
Secondly, I learned that prayer is the key ingredient for mobilisation. When Jesus saw people as sheep without shepherd and had compassion on them his response was to mobilise prayer. Matthew 9:35-38 and Luke 10:1-2 teach us that Jesus as mobiliser challenged his followers to engage in prayer for mobilisation. So our efforts must also be founded on and saturated in prayer. We cannot mobilise workers for God’s harvest fields with mission strategies and techniques alone. We need to rely on the Lord of the harvest to call people and move them into the harvest fields.
If Jesus, the Son of God, invested time in prayer to fulfill God’s purposes and to mobilise people, why can’t we? In my 30 years of missions involvement I have seen that when agencies devote honest time and effort in prayer for mobilisation there has been growth. Whenever there is a lack of prayer for mobilisation, the impact has been dismal.
Thirdly, mobilisation involves challenging people with a call. When Jesus called his disciples to follow him, notice that all of those individuals were occupied, busy and working in their respective businesses. God calls occupied, busy, responsible, skilled, and relational people to follow Him in worship and service.
Jesus as mobiliser was comfortable with inviting or calling people to follow him in mission —today we wait for people to enquire about mission service and then we act. Through the years, including through personal experience, I have learnt that mobilisers have a significant role to play in inviting, challenging and channelling God’s people to serve God in mission. As a mobiliser, filled with the Holy Spirit, when you hear the story of God’s work in people’s lives, you should be courageous to lay down a challenge and call them to follow God wherever it may lead.
So, mission mobilisation is not about fulfilling a select portion of the Bible such as Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, Luke 24, John 20:21 or Acts 1:8. The ministry of mission mobilisation should be founded in prayer, and journeying with God’s people to discern a call to discipleship. Being a mobiliser is to be a discipler.
Have I sparked questions or thoughts? Please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org