God delights in doing amazing things—things we often think are impossible—in order to bring people into His kingdom.
The purpose of this assessment is to give you and your team an opportunity to dream about what God may be calling you to in regard to global mission. Set your “how could this ever happen?” thoughts aside, and spend some time talking with God about the way He would like to be at work in and through you and your church. As you get a clearer sense of God’s call, other parts of this guide will help you translate this calling into concrete action steps.
Don’t rush through these questions. Even though there are only a few questions here, they are intended to be wide-ranging and give you the chance to think, pray, listen, dream, and dialogue both with God and with key stakeholders of your mission efforts. The goal isn’t to have an answer for each question, but rather to begin to gain a sense of where God is calling your church to engage more deeply in mission.
You may want to read through the questions and jot down some initial thoughts and then take a few weeks in prayer and discernment about the issues presented here. Without a growing sense of God’s calling toward specific work, partners, timing, and methods, most church mission efforts remain stunted or decline. Your leadership in this area is invaluable, and it begins by discerning how God is directing your steps.
Invite others to answer these questions, too. A foundational part of leadership is to understand clearly who God has brought together in your congregation. How has He gifted them? How have they grown their particular kingdom passions? No two churches are exactly alike in this regard. In fact, no single church is in the exact same place it was five or 10 years ago.
Vision is rarely determined by vote, but it is almost always confirmed by consensus. Each key international mission stakeholder should speak into this process. This could include paid staff, elders/deacons, an international mission leadership team, and those who express a clear interest in global mission (and ideally have been engaged in giving, going, and sending others). You may wish to ask others to:
Complete the questions below and submit their answers.
Provide feedback on ideas you and your team are developing.
Engage in face-to-face conversations to offer their opinions and input.
The more intensively you solicit their feedback, the greater investment others will have in the process and its outcomes.
1. What are your hopes for mission work in our church?
2. At this age and stage in the life of our church, what is our unique ministry or calling?
3. How does international mission engagement currently serve that calling?
4. Ideally, how would you like to see international mission work serve that calling in the future?
5. What gifts has God given our church in terms of giving, going, and sending that could be well used in international mission engagement?
6. Is there a specific type of mission work (church planting, mercy ministry, Bible translation, etc.) our church is passionate about?
7. Is there a specific part of the world our church is particularly drawn to or connected to?
8. The gospel never flows out of us unless it is first flowing into us and transforming us. Overall, how would you rate our church’s disciple-making and spiritual formation ministries?
9. Where would you like to see God’s grace more deeply transform our church?
10. How well are our disciple-making and spiritual formation ministries connected to our ministries of mission and outreach?
11. What are some of our past successes in mission? Why do you think they were successful? What is the same or different in our church now?
12. What are the three biggest obstacles to our church being more engaged in mission? Where do you have doubts God will work to free our church from these obstacles?
13. If you could wave a magic wand, five years from now, what would mission look like at our church in terms of: Our international mission efforts? Where we are working in the world? Types of mission activities or missionaries we partner with? Connecting international mission work to our local mission work?
>>> This diagnostic is taken from Serge’s free guide Going Global: A Guide for Deepening Your Church’s International Mission Program. Get your FREE copy today.