Equipped and ready to engage
By Kirubel Girma
The local church’s capacity to engage in missions is way behind where we hoped it would be by now. In the 21st century, mission is from anywhere to everywhere and God has called the local church to reach the unreached. The way that we plan and approach missions is not matching the shift of our world toward globalisation.
Our priority as believers should always be on spreading the good news to the whole world, starting with our family and neighbourhood to the unreached peoples in our nation and beyond.
When we identify and try to equip new workers, we should use diverse approaches to make sure that the worker, with his or her skills and capacity, is engaged in the right field of ministry. The local church is uniquely equipped to recognise and develop skills, talents and character in our congregations, since we can observe up close over a long period of time.
There are four areas in which the local church can equip those they send:
- Spiritual. Discipleship and prayer are the foundation of missions training, and strength in these areas at home will continue as strengths on the field.
- Physical. We sometimes fail to understand the necessity of keeping good health; life on the field can be rigorous and workers must not be hindered from accomplishing their aims due to physical breakdown.
- Mental. Whether this is through academic or practical learning, there is much that a candidate needs to know before going. The local church is in a position to support missionaries in their preparation, and allow them to practice what they learn in order to build up the church as well as strengthen their skills.
- Financial. Missionaries need funds to live on the field, to educate their children, and to travel home. When their sending church stands behind them in this way, it not only creates an opportunity for the lost to learn about Christ, but allows God to bless the church with a deeper understanding of His plan for the world through them, and spiritual blessings as a result.
The local body of believers should work together in missions through training, resources and other details, more than ever before. If we do this, we will avoid unnecessary costs, false expectations and will be able to reach the full capacity of each church to reach out.
Kirubel Girma is Mobilizer for the East Africa Missions Office of SIM.