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Guide for Local Churches on - Discipling Adults to be Global Christians

Big-Idea

John R. W. Stott stated, ‘We need to become global Christians[i] with a global vision, for we have a global God.’[1]  Followers of Jesus Christ now live out their faith in the context of a globalised society, build relationships throughout the “global village,” and belong to an increasingly global Church.

However, without equipping by the local church, Christians may remain ignorant of their place within God’s cross-cultural and global mission, and what He is doing around the world through their brothers- and sisters-in-Christ.  Therefore, mission awareness/education is an important aspect of the discipleship of every believer.

Although it is the hope of mission awareness/education programs in local churches that some believers will be inspired to become missionaries[ii] or leaders of mission mobilisation,[iii] the primary goal is to develop global Christians, who are inspired and equipped to engage in God’s global mission wherever they are.

[1]  John R. W. Stott, “The Living God is a Missionary God,” in Facing the New Challenges (Kisuma, Kenya: Evangel Publishing House, 1978), http://www.worldevangelicals.org/resources/ rfiles/res3_425_link_1342020737.pdf (accessed May 16, 2015), 445.

[i] Global Christian (“World Christian”/mission-minded) – a disciple of Jesus Christ who shares God’s global perspective and engages in various ways in God’s global mission, no matter where they are located.  While ideally there should be no difference between a Christian and a global Christian, the difference often lies in a Christian’s the level of understanding and active obedience in regards to God’s global purposes for the whole world.

[ii] Missionary/missionaries – a person/family who has been commissioned by their sending church(es) and/or mission agency to be explicitly dedicated to the work of cross-cultural ministry.  It indicates someone who is gifted, set apart and trained/prepared for cross-cultural service, and so serves a particular role in the global Body of Christ.  While every follower of Jesus is called to be His witness wherever they are, some are specifically lead to cross cultural and geographical boundaries to share the gospel with those who could otherwise not comprehend its message.

[iii] Mobilise/mobilisation – is often used exclusively in reference to recruiting potential cross-cultural missionaries, but also refers to the intentional process of inspiring, equipping and sending out of all Christians to effectively and consciously engage in God’s global mission wherever they may live, work, serve, and worship. 

Tips-Examples

In each of the following eight areas, it is important not only to teach knowledge, but also provide opportunities for Christians to apply biblical understanding and values in practical ways.

1. Equip all believers to engage with the biblical worldview, the flow of the biblical story, the missional nature of Scripture, and the biblical basis for mission:

  • Provide teaching/preaching on both God’s global perspective throughout Scripture and key mission passages;

  • Include mission focused Bible studies in small group settings (see examples of Bible study guides below).

2. Equip all believers to understand the implications of serving/ worshiping the God of all creation:

  • Implications of God’s grace and justice for all peoples;

  • Implications from the fact that God desires worship from all peoples and is concerned about His name (reputation) amongst the nations;

  • Implications for our relationship to Creation;

  • Implications, arising from the fact that God has created, rules and loves all peoples, for our

    attitudes towards people of other cultures.

3. Equip all believers to engage with God’s global mission:

  • To understand the flow of salvation history for all peoples, Christ’s centrality and the global dimension to His mission, and the incomparable glory and uniqueness of the gospel.

4. Equip all believers to engage with Christ’s mission for His disciples:

  • To understand their identity as “sent ones;” and that Christ’s command to take the gospel to all nations involves every disciple;

  • To apply the principles of stewardship and sacrifice;

  • To develop “bifocal vision” – seeking to extend God’s kingdom both where they are and to other cultures around the world;

  • To see the spiritual, physical, psychological and social needs of people, and seeks to both  

    proclaim and promote the gospel;

  • To believe that prayer is mission work, and so pray regularly for the sending out of missionaries, the challenges they face, and those with whom they seek to share the gospel.

5. Equip all believers to engage with today’s hurting, dynamic, multicultural world

  • To constantly grow their “global vision” – world geography, people groups, other religions, global Church growth, cultural and political trends, and world news;

  • To align their attitudes with the biblical teaching on issues like poverty, justice;

  • To apply understanding of cross-cultural distinctives, communication, and contextualisation in their relationships with people from other cultures;

  • To humbly relate to other cultures as a learner and examine their own cultural biases

6. Equip all believers to engage with the global Church’s mission

  • To understand the role of the global Church in God’s mission;

  • To understand the realities, challenges, advancement and history of cross-cultural and global mission;

  • To appreciate the diversity of roles and backgrounds (including Christians from ever continent) needed to achieve the great Commission, and be excited by the possibilities for involvement;

  • To value the role of para-church organisations e.g mission agencies and Bible colleges;

  • To align their attitudes with the biblical teaching on issues like persecution and spiritual warfare.

7. Equip all believers to engage with the local church’s global mission:

  • To understand the primacy and responsibilities of the local church in global mission, missionary sending/care, local outreach, and discipleship;

  • To align their attitudes with biblical teaching on aliens and foreigners, and understand the practical implications for their local church;

  • To value the testimony and gifting of Christians from different ethnic backgrounds in their local church.

8. Encourage and provide opportunities for all believers to engage with other global Christians:

  • To believe that every Christian in every church needs to grow as a global Christian, and view themselves as agents in this endeavour;

  • To fellowship with missionaries and other global Christians, and imitate their vision, character, and ministry principles/skills.

9. Invite the following provider to run a mission awareness/education short course in your local church/region:

10. Utilise the following mission awareness/education tools

(unless another website is given, the following tools may be ordered through koorong.com ):

[i] Global vision – a conscious perspective and growing awareness of what God is doing in the world to achieve His global purposes.  This includes a biblical understanding of God’s global mission, a current awareness of international news and the spiritual condition of people groups, and an understanding of the ongoing growth of the global Church and the complexities/challenges involved in completing Christ’s Great Commission.

11. Real Examples

Helpful-Resources

1. Bruce Dipple. Becoming Global: Integrating global mission and your local church. Croydon, NSW: Sydney Missionary Bible College, 2011. 2. Shannon Litton. “Motivate Your Congregation: 5 ways to move them to give, go, or act.” Catalyst Services Postings, Vol. 10, Iss. 7, 2015. 3. http://www.globalconnections.org.uk/churches/teaching-materials/home-group-activities – Free downloadable activities for small groups 4. https://wec-uk.org/stories/mission-me – A resource from WEC to help adults find their pathway into mission 5. “Cultural Intelligence – Building Cross-Cultural Skills in the Local Church: An Interview with Werner Mischke.” Catalyst Services Postings, Vol. 5, Iss. 12, 2010. 6. Ellen Livingood. “Engage the Professionals in Your Church: 10 Keys to Sparking Their Mission Involvement.” Catalyst Services Postings, Vol. 9, Iss. 6, 2014. 7. http://www.worldmap.org/ – country profiles 8. https://www.operationworld.org/country-lists – country lists/prayer points

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We want to provide the most up to date, relevant and engaging resources for our community involved in aspects or global mission. If you know if any Resources we can share, please contact us.

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