Towards more mission-minded churches
By Pastor Ndivhuho Ranwedzi
One instruction the modern church should not forget is Matt. 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” I would like to reflect on the aspect of “going” by the modern church.
A going church is not confined to its buildings, but is concerned about its external environment, both locally and globally. Can you imagine a church whose interest is to see people flocking into the building every Sunday, without being cognizant of its environment? Surely that church will be disconnected from the realities of the community and the wider world, and may soon become irrelevant.
It is imperative for a pastor to reflect on the church’s role in response to societal challenges within its community and beyond. The approach will have to be an intentional mission strategy which links the church and the community. Although people may be attracted to a particular church, it remains the responsibility of the church to “go”, rather than to “wait”. A church should not merely be attractional in its approach, but also missional. When the church is solely attractional, it misses the opportunity to impact the world. The clergy, as appointed leaders of the church, are key to focussing a church towards missions, and one way they can do this is by providing capacity building programmes.
The missional endeavour has been employed mostly by the Catholic Church and traditional Protestant denominations more than the Pentecostals, who are known to operate more independently. However, most of these independent ministries are well resourced to carry out the task and make a huge impact. In most cases, they begin with a missional flavour but usually reach a stage where they become attractional, especially when they are well known. I would like to encourage the pastors of churches, particularly independent ministries, to reconnect with Matt. 28:19.
Ndivhuho Ranwedzi is the Presiding Pastor of the Apostolic Faith Mission Revival Centre in Atteridgeville, South Africa