© 2005 Mission to the World
Laying the Foundation
This committee, along with the pastor of the church, is the true “keeper of the vision” of missions for the entire congregation. That assumes, of course, there is a defined vision in the first place. One of the first tasks of any missions committee should be to determine what it is trying to accomplish and why and then begin to develop ministry accordingly. Starting without a vision may generate motion, but not necessarily progress. Progress includes engaging the entire congregation in missions and not simply a select few. While there are innumerable ways to highlight missions, the most visible typically is the missions conference. It is important to remember, though, that the goal of a missions conference is not the event itself. Rather, it is to help members take one or two more steps towards becoming world Christians. In that respect, churches may develop more effective means to accomplish this goal other than an annual conference. Moreover, the missions ministry should not be perceived as a single event. Faced with a choice, it is far better to have regular opportunities throughout the year to promote missions rather than an annual emphasis. However, churches that are the most mobilized for missions consistently have a major, high profile emphasis every year—and typically offer ways to hear about missions at other times. Churches that decrease the visibility of the missions conference invariably are those with a decreasing commitment to world missions. At the foundational level of building a missions ministry, it is important to identify what belongs in the first phase of construction. Of course, no ministry begins in a vacuum; there is always a context that affects growth. Such factors include the commitment of the senior pastor, passions of key missions leaders, resources in the congregation, and the history—if any—of missions involvement. But be encouraged that no matter how daunting the task may appear, you have all the resources you need: the Lord Himself. No one is more passionate about the Great Commission than our sovereign Lord, and He desires your congregation to be deeply engaged with Him. Seek His guidance and provision, confident that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Under the titles of the following articles, the “theme” refers to one of the essential elements of successful missions ministries listed in
Window to the World.
This list is included in the following pages. A fruitful exercise for your missions committee would be to evaluate your ministry according to each of the twenty themes and begin to strengthen undeveloped areas. You may also want to refer to the articles in the rest of the
Window to the World
Setting Your Sights
explores the importance of the Church and national church-planting movements as the visible goal of a missions ministry.
Setting the Pace
offers practical help on how to mobilize your church for world missions.
Reaching the Summit
helps more established ministries integrate their efforts with the entire church and with key principles for maximizing long-term impact.