Your church has the opportunity to influence not only your own church members but also other churches in your network of relationships. As a missions leader, you also have the responsibility to do so. Furthermore, as a peer to other church leaders, you are in an ideal position to encourage them to be more involved in the Great Commission.
Before you begin, though, first consider what you hope to accomplish and how you should relate to other churches. The following questions relate to the people you can connect to and your motivation for doing so.
- What natural relationships do you have with other churches?
- Do you want to engage churches in other denominations? If so, will you adjust your plans or expectations in any way?
- Who in your church can be a spokesperson for your ministry?
- What is your attitude towards churches that are different in size, ministry philosophy, or development of missions?
- Can you relate to other churches in an attitude of service and humility?
- Are you willing to be involved in ministry or events that you don’t completely control?
- Are you able to learn or receive from other churches?
Now, identify ways to motivate others to grow in their missions ministry. The following suggestions will help you get started.
- Identify missions leadership in local churches.
- Host an event for missions leaders to meet each other.
- Begin a monthly breakfast or lunch for church missions leaders.
- Share resources with each other.
- Invite another church to join you on a short-term project.
- Give church leaders motivating books on missions.
- Co-host a conference and invite missionaries and/or national leaders.
- Jointly sponsor a seminar or course such as Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.
- Encourage other churches to complete the Window to the World diagnostic tool as a starting point for discussion.
- Ask church leaders to consider whether the Church is at the center of their missions efforts.
Finally, you should remember that missions mobilization is hard enough in your own church. Influencing other churches can be even more challenging, and requires wisdom, patience and perseverance. But the results are well worth it. Not only will you maximize your impact for the Great Commission, you are helping to answer Christ’s prayer to send out laborers into the harvest.