USA (MNN) — For 200 years, churches and mission groups have had it backward. The mindset has always been that the churches are supposed to help the mission agencies share the Gospel. The Mission Society is changing that, says the senior director for church ministry at The Mission Society, Stan Self.
Self says, "We really feel that it's God's design to reconcile the world to Himself and use the church to do that." He says the church is God's primary instrument to share His Word to the world. However, many churches need help.
That's why The Mission Society started a program 10 years ago to work with churches. He says most churches fall into a couple of categories. "Sometimes [missions] is vested in one person who just has that passion. They just do their own thing, often times, in spite of the church, not necessarily with the help of the church. Other times, we find it's contained in a small group of people. And this is the most common thing," Self adds.
Sometimes, Self says, churches don't understand their call to missions. "Missions is the mission of the church. And we attempt to get churches to move from missions being just a program in their church–which most often it is–to where it's a priority in their church and it's really just part of their DNA."
The Mission Society does that through their Global Outreach Weekend. "We come in and basically lay the foundations of mission out of the Bible — those biblical perspectives that are given throughout Scripture, both Old and New Testaments — where we are to be people who are taking the message of God through Jesus Christ to the nations," says Self.
It doesn't stop there, though. "Once they have the biblical foundation and they see the world as it is, then it ought to motivate them into some sort of action. And then, we begin to lay out what that means for the church."
Self says those answers are always unique. "Every local church is just as unique and just as different as we are as people. And God probably has a unique calling upon the life of that particular church, so we try to help them discover that."
Self says over the last 10 years, they've seen churches improve their involvement in missions in small and large churches. Almost all of the churches have seen an increase in church member involvement.
The Mission Society would like to help your church. Click here to get additional information or to invite them to your church.