- Active support of mission in the churches. “Don’t miss the boat” says J.D.Greear; “I believe we need a fundamental shift in how we think about the mission of the church.”* After describing some churches as cruise liners, with satisfying programmes for all the family, and others as battleships, where the church organisation itself does most of the gospel presentation, Greear prefers the metaphor of aircraft carriers – churches that equip their people and send them out carrying the gospel far and near. See here for our recent article about one of New Zealand’s churches that works to fit this description. (*From his book Gaining by Losing – Why the future belongs to churches that send.)
- Available, accurate Information rather than vague notions about what mission is. This could come from a range of sources: mission partners that you support, blogs, mission organisation staff, etc. “Hot” issues that come along such as refugees, or slavery or AIDs orphans can make people keen to get involved, which is good, but SIM NZ’s mobiliser Sean Marston says ” often I find people’s understanding of the issue is very limited. I believe finding out information is one of the cornerstones to mission involvement.”
- Exposure to missionaries when we are young, either in person or through their captivating stories… Just to say that it’s not a coincidence that mission rubs off on you! Many, many mission workers grew up with a missionary in the family, or in a family that welcomed missionaries into their home.
- Mentoring by a trusted person who will inspire young people to see themselves serving in mission. Whether it is a friend, a respected person in ministry or a trained coach, the goal is to have someone who can speak into your life, help you clarify your goals and guide you to get where God is calling you.
- Focused praying for missionaries and particular communities that have caught your heart. Jesus knows that when we pray, we change. In Matthew 9 he says “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Let us pray this and allow God to stir our hearts, to be part of seeing a harvest such as we’ve not seen before of people finding him as their Lord and Saviour.”
Not all these foundational supports are present in the story of every mission worker, but if all are missing, mobilisation will likely fall on deaf ears.
Missio Dei underpins everything — understanding that God is the one who has the mission; that he mobilises — our part is to seek discernment and to join him.