Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Necessary Shift In Missions

In June I blogged on everyone embracing their role as an everyday missionary by leveraging their everyday opportunities for the gospel. This weekend I was spending some time reading over the archive from Dave Black's blog, came across some quotes that I believe capture the shift that needs to take place in the thinking of missions in the church as a whole, specifically in my own background.

Here are some excerpts from Dave Black's blog: 

In other words, once the idea that every Christian is a fulltime missionary is accepted, the work of missions will advance with much less hierarchy -- and much less wasted money. In time, I think we will see a new equilibrium emerge in which professionally-trained missionaries will work side-by-side with an army of volunteers in a low-friction environment that enhances cooperation.

The bottom line of what I am saying: It's time for us to wake up to the fact that there is a fundamental shift talking place in the way many of our churches are thinking about missions. As missions becomes flattened, local churches will realize they can plant other churches or send out missionaries themselves.

The missions "connection" will move from vicarious support of foreign missionaries via missions giving to raising up local personnel and sending them forth.This is what happens when the missionary enterprise is no longer outsourced. Collaborative innovation flourishes -- and the result is expanded involvement on all levels in the Great Commission.

My own heart has been convicted in recent months that this shift indeed is what we need to see take place in missions. Hopefully what is described here will represent the future of missions where churches realize that they do not need to outsource to parachurch 
organizations in order to plant churches and send missionaries as we all can serve the role of a missionary by leveraging our lives for the gospel and the planting of churches.


  1. Aren't you planning to go with a para-church organization?

  2. First off, I am being sent out by my local church to plant churches. They are the ones that have equipped us to send us out. Yes, they do still partner with a parachurch organization, but much of what is described in this post is what I believe needs to take place across the board, including in my own context. I do not think that all parachurch organizations are bad, but much of what we see today looks more like an institutional business than a movement where all people embrace the call to go to all of the world and make disciples.

    Even within my own situation, I value the role of the local church and their support over that of the parachurch organization because without the local church they would not exist.

  3. It's a good shift. There is value in combined effort. However, each church, if not each Christian, should be directly involved, not just with missions, but with the missionaries who are called to go.

    There has been too much of the idea that "missions is what I pay missionaries to do" and not enough of the idea that we are to be personally invested in the mission. Our prayers are not to be flippant occasional things, but directed with intense persistence toward the movement of God at home and abroad. The money that we give is not simply giving "our" money, but the money that God has called us to give. Most importantly, we should consider going. And if we don't go a far distance, we need to be going a short distance. We need to be more willing to bless the name of God boldly as a portal for His light than we are to curse the darkness that shadows our world our of fear.