Updated: Nov 21, 2019
We are consistently asked about keys to pastoral leadership of missions in the church. Here are ten easy concepts to help you.
Walk the talk.
It’s not enough to say that missions is an important priority for the church. The Pastor is a role model for all aspects of spiritual life and ministry. Therefore, the Pastor must model the priority of missions in his personal and family life. Do things to enhance your relationships with specific missionaries and field ministries with the intent that Unreached People Groups would get the Gospel and have healthy, biblical churches planted among them.
Learn the lingo.
World missions ministry has its own sphere of culture, vocabulary, training, and special issues. The best way for a Pastor to stay on top of it is to either keep current yourself with the mass of information out there, or better (!), entrust a wise, discerning, informed missions-lover person to hand-feed you only the best and most important things. Either way, make a plan to stay ahead of the curve for the sake of your leadership of your congregation in the area of missions. P.S. – don’t mistake “missional” language related to growing your church as equivalent to world missions concerns.
Pray like you mean it.
How fervently would you like your people to pray for you, your life, and your ministry? That’s exactly the informed, passionate fervency the Pastor should develop for your church’s world missions workers and ministry goals. We are actually dependent upon God for progress in the Great Commission; He has given us prayer as an instrumental means of accomplishing His purposes on earth. Take it seriously; believe it; do it.
Become a stake-holder.
Give to world missions: This means your personal time, treasure, and talent. If you want your people to “own” a love and concern for missionaries and reaching the world for Christ, you must become a stake-holder yourself. “If there’s fire in the pulpit, there will be fire in the pews,” applies to these very practical roles, as well. Figure out how to be personally involved financially and in stewardship to time and talent.
Hold values over sentiment.
Too often church missions commitments are founded on a sentimental relationship to the Pastor (or another key influencer). Later, it’s discovered that the ministry or missionary in question has little to no alignment with the church’s doctrine, intentions, or strategic focus. It’s much harder to undo those mistakes than it is to be thoughtful, intentional, and principled in choosing who and what the church will support from the beginning. Talk to others, even get outside help; but, do what you can to identify and codify key values for missions for your unique church prior to making corporate commitments. Learn how to say, “No,” to sentimental appeals and tangential connections. You and your church will be thankful over the long haul.