Sunday, July 21, 2024
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsMISSIONS WORLD: Mobilizing the Church

MISSIONS WORLD: Mobilizing the Church

By Larry Barker, North America Regional Coordinator and Vice President of Strategy and Training •BMAA Missions

Mobilization is defined as “the action of a country or its government preparing and organizing troops for active service” or “the action of making something movable or capable of movement.” The goal of mobilization is activating God’s church God’s way! Gary Rohrmayer declared it as a “commitment to strengthening existing churches while simultaneously starting new churches.” It is the people of God saved by the power of God for the purposes of God. Mobilization is moving from only pursuing information to realizing that being who Christ has called us to be is more about imitating him (II Cor. 11:1).

How do we mobilize our churches to actively be His army accomplishing His mission? Are we on the move and are we headed in the right direction? A definition of a comprehensive perspective on church mission mobilization could be this: “the strategic process through which every local church is empowered by the Spirit of God to emphasize the message, vision and strategies of the Great Commission, within the context of every nation and every community activating every disciple in their assigned roles toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.”

In Made for More, Todd Wilson and Rob Wegner stated the challenge well: “The role of the local church is to be the mobilizing home base. This empowers all disciples to discover their personal calling, then deploy them to express the fullness of Jesus into every corner of culture and into every sphere of society.” Church mobilization is an intentional process intended to increase the health and mission of congregations with the desire that they will participate in multiplication. Notice that there are three distinct phases to church mobilization: health, mission and multiplication.

It is God’s desire for your congregation to reach its greatest potential by increasing your spiritual health, your mission to reach people far away and the multiplication of disciples, leaders and churches. Mobilization requires systems for discovery, development and deployment through a discipleship pathway and a leadership pipeline. The question is, how far will you go in the process? Will you settle for anything less than God’s clear mobilization battle plan stated in His Word? Are you willing to spend time working “on” the ministry, not just “in” the ministry? 

The health phase should mobilize your church to diagnose its current condition through evaluation to determine where to improve the health of your church and its members. It calls for, if needed, rediscovering your calling to fulfill the Great Commission and a willingness to realign core ministries to the litmus test of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Orthodoxy in isolation has been referred to as a “lifeless debate among sterilized and unproductive leaders that dominate the catechistic territory of the Brand-Expander.” Orthodoxy is having the right opinion while orthopraxy is the addition of the right activities.

Truth is not a lifeless concept that is somehow contained in the pages of a systematic textbook of generally accepted orthodox opinion but is in fact a person — Jesus (John 14: 6). This Truth is the King of the kingdom, the head of the church, and is marshaling faith-followers to accomplish His eternal redemptive purpose on earth. Implicit in orthopraxy is an obedient faith to the King of the kingdom. There is no “right activity” excused away from our obedience of faith. Genuine orthopraxy is living out our orthodoxy by faith. This principle is made clear in James where we are called to also be doers of the Word.

The former (orthodoxy) without the latter (orthopraxy) is lifeless legalism and the latter (orthopraxy) without the former (orthodoxy) is presumptuous pursuits. The mission phase focuses on mobilizing your church to reach people who are far from God right where they live. You are unwilling to settle for them having to find you but are dedicated to figuring out where they live and how you can build gospel relationships. True health requires reprioritizing disciple-making. Do you have a discipleship pathway your people understand and can clearly articulate? Are you making disciples who make disciples?

The mission phase demands a farm system of homegrown, discovered, developed and deployed disciple-makers. You must have a mechanism to raise up leaders out of the harvest.

Finally, there is the multiplication phase. Everything that is healthy normally multiplies. This will mobilize your church to catch and cast a vision for not only the multiplication of disciples and leaders but also for multiplying churches. You are focused on recognizing and equipping leaders from within your fellowship. This requires a commitment to sacrificing your resources for others to hear the gospel.

Begin with strong discipling relationships because they are God’s primary vehicles for building and supporting a pathway for health, mission and multiplication. It requires taking ownership of God’s vision in all three areas by holding yourself and your church accountable to God’s direction for your congregation. It means you contextualize health, mission and mobilization to your people and your pathway. Then you look for collaboration with others in developing the best way to train and mobilize disciples, leaders and church planters.

Here are some important questions for determining your church’s current commitment and concentration:

• Is your church future-oriented, present-oriented or past-oriented? 

• Is your church more focused on the community, the congregation or the core of your church?

• Are you motivated and driven more by vision, programs or the present structure? 

• What best describes the attitude of your church — innovative, stuck in a routine or complacent?

• What level of faith describes where you are right now — high-risk faith, low-risk faith or no-risk faith?