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Untapped Potential - Catalyst Services

Untapped Potential - Catalyst Services

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Published by Sammis Reachers
- http://www.catalystservices.org/
- http://www.catalystservices.org/

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Sammis Reachers on Jun 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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by Ellen Livingood by Ellen Livingood by Ellen Livingood by Ellen Livingood 
The concept of “untapped potential” is exciting!The words remind us of…...a gift card to a favorite store,...an uncashed check,...a newly discovered vein of gold, or...hidden treasure!The untapped potential sitting dormant in every church ispower ready to be released for the Kingdom of God. Yettoo many times it is wasted, often because it isn’t evenrecognized. In this issue of
, we want to help youidentify some of the hidden treasure God has invested inyour people for global outreach.
What? How is dissatisfaction a form of untapped poten-tial? We’re talking about dissatisfaction that represents adeep spiritual longing for more—more gospel impact,more compassion extended to hurting people, more evi-dence of the Spirit changing lives. Have you had conver-sations with people in your church—not everyone, but atleast individuals here and there across the congrega-tion—who share a deep desire to see God use them in amore powerful way? Wonderful! You’ve got the most im-portant type of untapped potential because the hunger tobe used by God is the only essential for engaging all theother types of hidden resources.
Leaders with a Special Passion
Sometimes church missions leaders lament that insteadof being enthusiastic about missions, their pastor andother leaders are passionate about some other aspect ofministry—perhaps Bible teaching, local compassion ser-vice, discipleship, etc. Here’s more buried treasure! Re-gardless of what it is, every pastor’s passion is useful inglobal ministry. You just need to find the connection.
Eective Ministry
What does your church do well? Without a doubt, what-ever ministry expertise you’ve developed could enrichglobal ministry too. Is your VBS the best around? Take iton the road—around the world. Your worship is phenom-enal? Brainstorm how to use that universal language tocommunicate anywhere. You’re known for being friendly?Your people are gifted to build friendships that can bridgecultural barriers.
People with an Unusual Gift or Vision
Many churches have members who commit a lot of timeand energy to something quite unique. They may makequilts for AIDS babies, minister to drivers at a truck stop,write prisoners or…the possibilities are endless. Many“specialty” ministries can have an even greater impactsomewhere else in the world. Look for connections!
Powerful Intercessors
What a tremendous treasure these folks are! As you con-template how to better engage your church’s resources,think about how to more fully utilize the dedicated prayerministry of your intercessors as well as how to make theirprayer commitment more infectious!
People with professional expertise are in great demand inMajority World nations: university administrators and pro-fessors in any field, medical personnel, city planners,February 2012 / Vol. 7, Issue 2
chefs, government officials (one church’s field partnersset up a peer-to-peer visit for a group of law-enforcement
officers; it launched relationships that the on
-site workerscould have never developed on their own). Any specialistcan be a bridge to his/her peers in another country.
Members in a Life Stage of SpecialOpportunity
God can use people at any age, but during certain peri-ods of life, people can more easily invest significantamounts of time in global ministry.
Gap year 
 —More andmore teenagers are investing a year in missions betweenhigh school and college (a certain level of maturity re-quired).
Recent college graduates 
 —While the recessionhas made finding a job difficult, young adults can investtime in overseas ministry, especially if their church willhelp with college loan payments.
 —Sabbaticalsmay be harder to snag, but most teachers have severalmonths during the summer that they could invest in mis-sions.
 —Today some of the highest-impact ministries are carried out by businessmen andwomen who can arrange their schedules to spend sever-al weeks at a time, several times a year, in overseas min-istry.
 —Since “70 is the new 50” for many senioradults, their potential productivity during retirement yearsis huge. Opportunities abound!
Missionaries with a Big Vision
Consider the various missionaries your church supportsor is connected to: Does your mind go to one or morewho exude an infectious passion to see God do amazingthings? Your relationship to such workers holds greatpotential for powerful engagement!
Former Missionaries or MKs
Whether they spent six months or 60 years as cross-cultural workers, former missionaries and MKs are a goldmine of knowledge about what it takes to work overseas.If health and circumstances allow, they will often be ea-ger to return to the field as part of your church’s efforts,and provide training and leadership for others on short-term trips.
Perspectives Fever
Have individuals in your congregation taken the“Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course?Their understanding of God’s overarching plan for theworld, and their increased sensitivity to the needs of theunreached and the scope of missions are tremendoussources of untapped potential for your church. Often Per-spectives alumni are eager to be involved more effective-ly but aren’t sure how. More untapped potential!
People Who Have Lived or WhoTravel Abroad Frequently
With a little research, you may find members of yourchurch who have lived overseas due to military or diplo-matic corps postings, job assignments, study-abroad pro-grams, or other reasons. Some in your congregation mayregularly travel to a particular location overseas for busi-ness. These can be God-given connections.
A Nearby Community Represent-ing an Unreached People Group
Some of your church’s untapped treasures may not befound inside your doors. Find out what ethnic groups arerepresented in your city or nearby. Many churches aresurprised to discover that business connectionshave drawn a community from abroad, the gov-ernment has resettled a particular group of refu-gees nearby, or for no obvious reason, immi-grants from a certain country or people grouphave chosen to settle in their area. After one congrega-tion developed a friendship with a nearby church of Hai-tian immigrants, people from both fellowships teamed upfor work projects in Haiti.
A Nearby University withInternational Students
International students who have become a part of yourchurch are a wonderful, often untapped, resource. Theycan help your people understand how to cross culturesas well as provide important contacts back in their homecountry. University staff who teach or work with interna-tionals are also an untapped resource. Many develop life-long friendships with internationals and have a great pas-sion to share the gospel across cultures.
Interchange Postings • 
Untapped Potential • February 2012 Page 2 of 3
During certain periods of life, people can more easilyinvest significant amounts of time in global ministry.
An Exchange Student Program inYour High School(s)
Is there an exchange program set up between schools inyour area and those in another country? If so, you mayhave a number of young adults who have spent a semes-ter or a year abroad. And some families in your churchmay have hosted exchange students. Their knowledgeof, and burden for, that country may be significant.
People Trained in TESL
Almost everywhere on earth, people are eager to learnEnglish. So actually, every native English speakerin your church has untapped potential in this area.But those with training in teaching English tospeakers of other languages are particularly useful.
Bilingual Members
Many churches discover they have people with a “hidden”ability to speak another language. Whether they majoredin Russian in college or had parents who emigrated fromArgentina, these people have valuable language skills.
People with a Love for Drama orthe Arts
You don’t have to be Rembrandt, Streep, or Bono tomake an impact for God using your arts/drama gifts inglobal outreach. These gifts can often be most powerfulwhen used creatively in cross-cultural settings.
Kids are probably not a hidden part of your church, but infar too many churches, their fantastic missions potentialis unrecognized. Children care passionately for the hurt-ing and will work, give, and pray. Children will motivateadults—their parents, grandparents, teachers, babysit-ters, and the whole congregation if you let them! Withproper preparation, children can go—and effectively min-ister in ways that change their lives as well as others’.
Immigrants in Your Church
Those who have moved to your country from somewhereelse have unique untapped resources. They know how tobridge cultures. They have empathy for displaced per-sons. They often see life from a unique perspective thatmakes them good listeners and caring friends despitecultural barriers. Grateful for what they have received,they want to give back.
Individuals with Practical Skills
Almost any hobby, skill, or area of expertise can be adoor opener in missions. Hairdressers. Scrapbookers.Auto mechanics. Little League coaches. Counselors.Computer geeks. Jugglers. Golfers. Knitters. Everythingis useful somewhere!
Those with CommunicationsSkills
Do you have writers, photographers, videographers,graphic designers, marketing specialists, salespeople,editors, photographers, or social media experts attend-ing your church? In our media-saturated world, thesepeople have skills that are life changing when investedin missions and/or in building a case back home for howothers can get involved.
Members Who Have IntentionallyRejected the American Dream
Most churches have some of these folks—the ones whocould live in a McMansion but chose the little rancherinstead and drive the 10-year-old car. You know, theones who drop off groceries to the single mom insteadof buying new shoes for themselves. The teenagers whoasks friends to give to a clean-water project instead ofbuying them birthday presents. It’s these folks who don’tmind roughing it on a missions trip. And they will alwaysfind a way to give more when your church launches amajor fundraising effort for your next global partnership.
Around the world today, businesspeople are openingdoors for the gospel. Their ability to move into the work-place gives them entrées that the professional mission-ary will never have. Anyone with entrepreneurial gifts or
Interchange Postings • 
Untapped Potential • February 2012 Page 3 of 3
Almost any hobby, skill, or area of expertise canbe a door opener in missions.

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