Five suggestions to help your church be more strategic
Look at where you are as a church geographically. Are there any particular people groups around you? Who is already being reached, and who isn’t? If there is no one of a different ethnic origin then bear in mind that hundreds of thousands of international students come to study in the UK – potentially from some of the unreached areas of the world. Find out if there is work amongst internationals nearby that you and your church could get actively involved in. Friends International www.friendsinternational.org.uk is a good place to start.
Build on existing links
Recognise Europe as a mission field. Your local school probably has a long-term French or German exchange link, for example, or there may be a connection already with your twin town(s). Build on those links, go and visit, make contact with the Christian community there. Or why not open your eyes to what God is doing in Europe by taking a group of young people to the Mission-net conference in Germany over New Year? www.mission-net.org/congress
Pray for unreached groups or nations
Use resources to help you and your church begin to pray for unreached groups or nations. The Joshua Project www.joshuaproject.net produce videos, prayer cards, mobile apps, and an ‘unreached people of the day’ by email, facebook or twitter. And Operation World have produced a document How to pray for unreached groups/nations found at www.operationworld.org/free-prayer-enhancing-resources.
Raising mission awareness
“Most people don’t decide against mission, they just never get around to it.”1 We are all called to share the gospel and need help to think through how we will specifically respond to this calling on our lives. Christian Life & Global Mission is an excellent DVD resource for church small groups to challenge and inspire us to be followers of Jesus in today’s global village www.globalconnections.org.uk/clgm. Or why not take a group from your church to GOfest 2014? www.gofestival.info
Support those considering mission
Encourage those who are thinking about cross-cultural mission work, either short-term or longer term. Maybe start a group to bring people together to support one another in the process of considering mission? Include in this the challenge to consider the unreached areas of the world. Kairos www.kairoscourse.info is a really helpful tool, both for broadening people’s view of mission and helping them to discern their own place in the mission of God.
1 From The Dangers of Short Term Mission, Phil Nicholson