From: Chris`

  1. Prayer, asking the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers, to give the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, to enlighten the eyes of the heart to know the hope to which we are called, the riches of the glorious inheritance of the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe. I would also petition the Lord for the church to have a part in fulfilling the Great Commission, that the fulfillment of his will would be manifest in the fullness of his blessings. I would ask for vision to see the nations assembled around the throne of God and a compassionate burden for the lost. An understanding of the reality and the difference between heaven and hell would be part of this prayer.
  2. Preaching and teaching, from the pulpit, in Sunday Schools, Perspective classes, Destination 2000, Discover the World, videos, multi-media, missionary presentations, etc. This approach is based on the premise that if you broadcast the missionary challenge using every medium some seed will settle on some fertile soil. Missionary biographies, missionaries visiting in homes, missionary letters and other communications would fall into this approach.
  3. Discipleship, in small groups, one-on-one, using either established programs like Navigator's 2:7, but adding a stronger cross-cultural mission component, or developing custom bible studies that trace the Great Commission from Genesis to Revelation. The practice of tithing, giving generously, living sacrificially needs to be developed as part of the Christian-character building discipleship program of the church. Most discipleship programs I have seen, including traditional M. Div. seminary curricula rarely include or integrate the Great Commission. Missions always seems to be an add-on, a peripheral option for the church, when it should be the goal of every church to be a witness to Jesus Christ in their Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth. As a consequence many churches have leaders and pastors that don't have the foggiest idea why missions is important. They eventually come to resent the demands made on them by the mission-minded "fanatics." If discipleship programs starting with the Children's Education wing could include an integrated approach to missions, the church would not suffer this dilemma.
  4. Service, using short-term mission projects, working in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, housing projects, adult literacy programs, community service projects, etc., and engaging in evangelism outreach using Evangelism Explosion, Lifestyle Evangelism, Neighborhood Prayer Evangelism, etc. Involvement in international student and businessman ministries, refugee services, teaching etc., is also a good way to develop cross-cultural skills locally. The idea is to develop the life and heart habit of serving, reaching out, evangelizing, developing cross-cultural skills, etc. These activities should not be isolated, special events, but integrated into the discipleship ministry of the church.
  5. Focusing a mission strategy. Most church mobilization follows a helter-skelter, willy-nilly, reactive approach. Missions committees and mission pastors need to be encouraged to have a specific strategy not only for allocating resources but for developing and nurturing missionary candidates. A balanced mission program should include local outreach and foreign frontier ministry. Hopefully a strategic church would use the local outreach to develop a burden for frontier ministry, and vice versa. Short-term mission projects should be more than special events, the experience should be integrated into the overall discipleship program of the church.

Mobilization is a very critical issue in the church, especially as the goal to reach the unreached grows clearer and the mission vision of many churches grows blurred, introspectively inward and local. Mobilization agencies like Caleb Project need to develop more tools and have more access to churches, college campuses, and youth conferences. The target for mobilization should be "busters" and younger to develop as missionaries and "boomers" to develop as senders and supporters. And may the Lord give the increase to his glory.

I am sure there are other perspectives. One useful resource tool is Paul Borthwick's book, "A Mind for Missions," that presents a good primer for mobilizing the church for missions.

From: Bill Stearns <>
There are tons of odds and ends of materials, opportunities, ideas out there. But the basic "Where do I start?" has always been a bug-a-boo. Fanatic mobilizers who just finished Perspectives advise, of course, to simply have everybody take Perspectives! Somebody who's just finished a good resource insists their resource alone or seminar or whatever will do the job. We had to wrestle with this stuff as Bob and we did Run With The Vision. What we jointly came up with was a pattern of helping fellowships...

Stage 1: no commitment->Catch The Vision
Required input: mostly breakthroughs about what God is doing globally to encourage people to lift up their eyes. No mention of the M-word ["Mission"] should occur at this stage. When enough of a fellowship start asking, "How do I find out more?"-type questions, it's time (maybe after six months or two years of drip-drip-dripping breakthroughs) for an event to move into stage two. Some of the resources to mark that "event" are A View From On High (Caleb Project), a special speaker or mobilization team presentation or A Sunday for the World (Gospel Light/World Christian)--which I just sent off to Gospel Light for their final OK before issuing a pilot version this fall, with the real, Gospel Light version coming out next April or May. This event isn't designed to get people into missions, it's to get people to 1)pray with new insight and 2) sign on for Bible study about God's global plan.

Stage 2: Build that vision--centered around resources, not ideas.
Destination 2000 video course, Catch the Vision course, A Vision for the Nations (recently announced as available from USCWM 800-MISSION) are specifically designed for this stage for adults. The Build stage for kids has lots of good stuff as well, as has been listed in Kid's Resources from Kevin Guttman et al. here on the forum. High schoolers have, as far as I know, only ACMC's "What's This Mission Thing, Anyway?--or something like that!" (Sorry for slaughtering the title, ACMC folks, I don't have it and really haven't reviewed it! But it and several denomination-specific curricula attempt to help youth build their vision in a Bible study (Sunday School) format. Good news: Kevin Johnson with Bethany House has just got a green light on a Junior High killer book we'll shape into a curriculum for this stage. Each of these resources points to other key things to help build vision--prayer training tools, other books, mag's and newsletters, etc.

Stage 3: Helping them act on the vision
--Formation of a mission accountability structure (whether pairs or triplets or home groups or a monthly mission fellowship. This is a weak area of resources; there's too much stuff on the one hand and maybe not enough excellent ongoing stuff on the other).--Formation of a structure of training and short-term involvement. (Again, there's a lot of good stuff, but I'd like to see someone in this field take accountability to provide on an ongoing basis input for churches doing short-term training and trips).--Focusing on a people. Here, finally, is where we've seen the Adopt-A-People idea fits. Great resources now exist from USCWM's AAP Campaign and the AAP Clearinghouse as well as dozens of agencies.

[This introductory process to mission] is exactly what we're doing in the upcoming "What's After October?" Seminar as well as in the "Make A Difference: Mobilizing Your Church to New Mission Vision" video training package coming out from Proclamedia and a consensus of mobilization groups.

From: Justin Long <>
Start with a small cell group of interested people who can meet on a regular basis and consider ways of mobilizing the church. Individual ideas will be as varied as the individuals participating, and what works in one church may not work in another. There are plenty of simple things: conferences, events, awareness seminars, etc. But the point of the whole thing is that one has to raise the AWARENESS of the church for world missions. Anyway that this is accomplished will be good.