Monday, February 16, 2009

Is the initiative bringing the Gospel to those who might have no other access to the Gospel?

Over the next days, I want to post a series of considerations, each having a brief video, designed to help churches in making decisions regarding strategic mission involvement. It is fact that most churches in North America are mission supportive. They give money to enable missionaries to carry the Gospel to the unreached people groups of the earth. Many congregations are mission active. They not only give to mission causes, but they are also directly involved in hands-on mission expressions locally or globally. But relatively few congregations have structures to assist them in making strategic mission decisions. Moving from support or action to strategic mission engagement is not something that will just happen. It will require new ways of thinking and managing the distribution of congregational resources.

For almost two years, I have been working with congregations in articulating a series of questions or statements that can be used to judge the strategic nature of mission engagements and expenditures. Please let us know your reactions to these questions and statements. Would they help your mission team, budget preparation team, or other decision making groups in your church to more strategically determine how you will steward the resources God has entrusted your congregation?

In six posts, we will seek to answer the questions, “What indicators might identify particular mission engagements as being strategic? What questions could you ask about mission initiatives to help decide if they are strategic?”

Indicator #1: Is the initiative bringing the Gospel to those who might have no other access to the Gospel?

When you and I go to bed this evening, 1/3 of the people in the world will never have heard the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In our day of explosive information exchange, two billion people remain unreached. While there is nothing wrong with ministering to those who have heard but not responded to the Gospel, strategic consideration should be given to the issue of access to the Gospel. We must be concerned for those who have never heard, and that concern should inform our decisions about mission engagement.

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