Ever wonder what missions might look like 10 years from now? Will we be supporting digital missionaries that holographically appear to unreached people groups using technology that interprets their spoken words into a remote people group’s previously untranslated language?
I never would have imagined at OneHope that we would be creating digital missions tools that put God’s Word in the hands of kids around the world through apps like the Bible App for Kids. Or that we would create a platform where users can type a text to send money to support a church or organization. Or that we would be developing gamificiation strategies for children’s ministry using cutting-edge programs.
I don’t know exactly what the future is going to look like, but I do know what every church ought to be doing today to poise their missions momentum to be successful in the future.
Intentionally maximize the role teens play in the life of the local church. Many churchgoing American teens are falling into the category of “”Moralistic Therapeutic Deists” when it comes to the depth of their faith. Unless we instill a sense of destiny into our spiritually homeless youth, giving them avenues to exercise and increase their involvement in the mission of the Church, there won’t be a next generation of believers passionate about or equipped to carry out the Great Commission.
Instill a strong missiology that reflects your ecclesiology. While most American churches believe they are God’s institution for reaching the world, they have separated this ecclesiology from their missiology. This belief must be expressed as a core value in your missiology so that the mission, vision and core values of your church are reflected and connected to your missions strategy.
Be proactive instead of reactive. Are you intentionally partnering with the highest caliber of people and “best in class” to carry out your missions programs, or are you merely continuing to draw from your existing pool? Saying “yes” to every opportunity that comes along is not going to allow you the freedom for blue-sky sessions in the future, where you dream around your purpose and begin establishing relationships to build the dream team so you can collaborate with the best of the best and cultivate fruitful ministry.
Cultivate the spiritual gift of giving. Do we recognize and appreciate those who have been given the spiritual gift of giving? Ministries who intend to be successful 5, 10 or 25 years from now need to understand how to properly serve those who have been gifted with the ability to make money and generously give it in support of God’s Kingdom. Rather than shying away from them, you need to be nurturing major donor programs with the same intensity that you put toward pastoring people and stewarding resources.
Implement means to measure your outcomes. In the past, most programs were built to attract attendees to events and count the bodies in the room, but failed to seek out and measure true life change. We have seen how implementing an outcome-based ministry model—where we start with the end in mind, design programs to that end, then measure for effectiveness—has revolutionized the fruitfulness of our ministry.
Teach missiology. Any discipleship vehicle—from small groups to seminars, weekly classes and teaching—should be used to do more than evoke people to respond out of emotion. They should be leveraged to integrate missions discipleship theology throughout the entire calendar year. Teaching a theology of mission informs the mind. When you help people understand the “why”, they will then be inspired to become the “who” that is excited to be a part of the “how”.
I feel like this list could go on and on, but if you are a new church, if you have inherited an old program, or are proactively assessing your programs because you want to be a game changer, going through this list will provide a pretty accurate gauge of whether or not you are set up for missions success, no matter what the future looks like!
For further reading:
- What is Outcome Based Ministry and why do I need to do it?
- Who likes Sunday School?
- #RuralMatters church planting movement
- Tips to build a leadership dream team
- 7 trends in missions you need to know RIGHT NOW!