1. The world starts here
Regardless of where we live or what our occupation is, all Christians are full-time mission workers. So why not celebrate and emphasis this? Also avoid the common barrier of the secular/spiritual divide – what belongs to God and what is ours? The Great Divide, produced by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, is an excellent booklet on this subject and includes study questions for home groups. It is available from LICC.
Ensure the world is central is church life and mission is not marginalised:
- Involve the church leadership – the world needs to be part of the church’s vision
- Include world prayer in other prayer opportunities rather than just having separate mission prayer meetings
- Avoid a separate world mission budget that only enthusiasts give to
- Ensure that special mission events are not only way mission is promoted as that can cause mission issues to be put off until the next mission event
3. Affirm existing links
Find out more about places that church members are going with their jobs, long-term mission, short-term mission trips or while studying. This could include interviewing members of the congregation with connection to the area. The Global Connections World Prayer Map is regularly updated with prayer points for countries around the world and Operation World is also an excellent prayer resource.
4. Invest in partnerships
Partnerships can often be developed naturally out of existing connections within the congregation. Alternatively, why not “twin” your church with a congregation in one of your official twin towns? You could hold a twinning event to launch the partnership and pray for them regularly and encourage people in the congregation to write – especially if they know the language. Eventually this could lead to each church planning a team visit to the other.
5. Find out about local communities
What different communities are there in your area? Why not find out more about these groups with a view to future outreach or at least informed prayer? Your research might include interviewing members of the congregation with links to particular communities, contacting other churches or mission agencies with experience of working with similar people groups, or simply encouraging the congregation to get to know their neighbours.
6. Equip the congregation
Teaching programmes need to include world and mission issues and celebrate what God is doing. More specifically Kairos www.kairoscourse.info is a really helpful tool to help people to think about mission more creatively and in broader terms than they might have done before. It’s also useful for helping people to discern their own place in the mission of God. There is also an excellent DVD study course for home groups called Christian Life & Global Mission, available from Kitab.