STRATEGY: HOW TO TARGET THOSE NOT INTERESTED IN MISSION
> Question from <NateWilson@XC.org> (posted in a Testimony 11-14) > Is it possible to reach non- mission-activists with a conference to > help them grow in mission vision..how do you get them to come...?
ANSWER From: DDougherty@XC.Org (David Dougherty) ..from my experience as a pastor for 17 years: 1) Pastors don't usually attend Saturday seminars. 2) Pastors don't often attend seminars targeted at lay people.
How to get pastors to participate in a missions-related conference (some ideas -- not all tested) 1) Target the conference specifically for pastors. 2) Schedule it when they are most likely to respond. 3) Have it in a neutral location that is attractive. 4) Provide a free breakfast or lunch 5) Make the subject or benefit a genuine felt-need for pastors (i.e. How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Missionary Giving, Missions Can Help Your Church Grow, Is Your Church's Vision Wide Enough? etc.) 6) Have a well-known, highly credible speaker
ANSWER From: email@example.com Yep, it was 70 at the Tulsa WAO. And your question about getting non-mission-minded people out to anything that has to do with reaching out (as well as pastors delegating to the mission fanatics the burden of going to mission meetings) is WHY WE'RE MOBILIZING! The point is to take these few mission-driven folks and equip them to start attracting their fellowships to new mission vision rather than reinforcing their stereotype as a tiny corner of fanatics who have little to do with the central life of the church.
We don't really want the whole mob out. We want those that God has perhaps appointed in the church to be mobilizers to learn their craft. That's what makes the job of influencing whole congregations drip by drip over months and months do-able--rather than trying to wham them into new worldviews in one or two meetings.
And that's why BASIC, grassroots, practical, every-plumber-can-do-it techniques are needed to grow vision in a local church.
So don't be discouraged. This is how we do it!
ANSWER From: <GKissinger@aol.com> ..I don't think you'll get non-missions minded people to a conferance like this. I think the non-mission minded people need to be reached by the mission-minded people in their OWN church, not by an "outside" conference. That's why we need to get better tools into the hands of the missions-minded people that they can use to share the message within their church.
It really is a matter of relationship. Those that have a mission vision need to be better equiped to share that vision with their friends. A church needs creative ways to present a mission vision without having it be a mission "thing". We need to use drama, music, kid stuff and small group "hand on" ways to communicate missions. Let's face it, I'm not going to go to a Singles conferance/small group conferance/ Stephans Ministry conferance etc. because that's not where I'm at. If they want to reach me with their message they need to do it within a context that will feel comfortabe in. I'm still not seeing much of this out there in the market place. I think this is were we need to be focusing our attention.
ANSWER From: George Beals <firstname.lastname@example.org> I and my missions committee have also been alittle frustrated about the low turn-out for missions events. We know that for some events, i.e., Monday night of a Missions Conference, only the die-hard will show up. So we gear our message for that audience.
Two thoughts that both deal with perspective:
1. Missed Ducks: when a group comes back from the hunt they don't talk about all the ducks that were missed. They talk about the 3 they "bagged." Don't look at the "missed ducks" but at all those who came and were sent back changed.
How many did Jesus work with who later turned their world upside down? I don't need a lot, just a committed few who are so excited about what God is doing in the world that others in the church want to know what's going on. Most Christians in America don't lead exciting spiritual lives so they are attracted to the light when someone gets a small fire going.
2. Our perspective may be just plain backwards. "Why don't they come to our meetings?", might be restated as "Where are they meeting? Can I speak at their next big meeting?" Let's go fishing in the river where there's lots of fish instead of wondering why more fish don't swim in our river. The question could be, "Who's my audience?" and, " Where do they meet?" Most Christians aren't against Missions, its just that Missions has a bad image. If they only knew or could see what God is doing in the world they'd know that "this isn't your fathers missions program."
ANSWER From: Chris: In addition to the great answers you received, I would add what Paul Borthwick calls "mission evangelism," where the mission-minded person in the church actively engages the non-mission-minded person in a kind of evangelistic exercise. Becoming a world Christian is almost like going through a second conversion, where the person realizes that the blessing of salvation is not just for personal benefit, but is meant to be carried to the ends of the earth. In this context, it's wiser to evangelize with friendship and love than with Bible bashing and a judgmental, critical spirit. The same holds true for leading a Christian to become a world Christian.
I'm also reminded of Don Richardson's article in the Perspectives book where he points out that it took 8 chapters of Acts before the disciples left Jerusalem to go to Samaria as a result of persecution. It took 15 chapters before the council of Jerusalem accepted the challenge of taking the Gospel to the Gentiles as an official duty of the church. Missions is not something that comes naturally to the believer and the new convert. Certainly prayer and the reviving power of the Holy Spirit are factors in leading Christians to accept the Great Commission at a personal level. So let's keep praying for revival in our churches!