This is part 2 in a working discussion I am having with myself about our church’s mission philosohpy. Feel free to interject your thoughts into my stream of consciousness. In part 2 I want to discuss a unity between 3 things which are often separated in a church.)

The second peg of our missions strategy is this: We see a unity in community ministry, church planting, and international missions. Here’s why:

  • In order to really transform an area for the Gospel, you need to minister to both body and soul. The preached message of the Gospel is paramount, but to make the Gospel message intelligible to our audience we must demonstrate God’s love in action. Plus, if we love our neighbors we won’t sit by when there is a need we can meet. Therefore, we try to teach members that their "secular jobs" are vehicles for blessing the community. We also try to lead every small group to be meaningful involved in blessing the community in some way.
  • The most effective way to transform an area is to plant a church, because a church is the best at doing both of the above. Plant a church and teach the new community to preach the word and care for the physical needs of the city.This was consistently Paul’s strategy in Acts: go to the most strategic cities in the world and plant churches there.
  • When you plant a church, the church should establish itself, immediately, as a transforming, caring force in the community. They can do that by caring for the city’s poor and teaching its members they should seek to bless the city. Rather than simply meeting as a core group for a year in a Starbucks or a school cafeteria, they should go in serving the community.
  • What we do in strategic overseas cities is really an extension of what we do here in our own cities. We will seek to meet the needs of the unchurched city in say, Indonesia, in the same way we have met our own city’s needs. (This means, btw, that some of the most needed overseas church planters are not ‘professional ministers,’ but people with a genuine, marketable skill that they can use to bless the community.