The first function of Church Ministry was Developing Faith & Engaging Members. When engaging members in the first function, we are talking about them being involved in the ministries of the church. However, in the second function, engagement often occurs outside the church. It is called, Mission Engagement and takes place on the mission field. Mission Engagement can take place inside the church but being missional doesn’t stop there. It spreads out from the local body of believers to the community, city, state, nation, and around the globe. It is best described in Acts 1:8:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth — Acts 1:8
Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would give them power to be witnesses for Him in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the rest of the world. They were to start locally, but then spread the gospel throughout their known world. Jerusalem was their home and community. Judea would be equivalent to what we identify as a state. Samaria would reach out further and would equivalent to us being engaged in missions on a national level. The rest of the world covers everywhere else – it’s international missions.
Christ mandates His Church to be continually engaged in missions. When the church revives its ministry, more missions will take place. And as the church engages in more mission opportunities, revival fires that begin within the congregation will spread wherever those missions occur. The flames of revival, then, is spread to the community, city, state, nation, and around the world. Jesus used just 12 men to spread Christianity after His ascension. In comparison, what could He do in our world today if Christians in America were actively engaged in Christ’s mission mandate?
Below, we provide examples of how your church can answer Christ’s mandate of missions engagement locally and abroad.
Church & Community Missions
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ — Matthew 25:35-36
What is your immediate thought when seeing the graphic to the left? Do you feel compelled to help this man who used to be your neighbor? Does his sign recall Jesus’ words that we are to love our neighbor as ourself? Are you interested in knowing his story? Do you automatically think he must be an alcoholic or drug user? Do tend to say, “If he doesn’t want to be homeless, he can get a job!”? Your response tells much about where your heart is in regards to obeying Jesus’ mandate for mission engagement. It also demonstrates your capacity to love others as you love yourself. Lastly, your response demonstrates your ability to feel compassion and empathy.
Missions Engagement is about loving your neighbor as you love yourself
Jesus told us that we are to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.” (Matthew 22:39). He also said that this was the second greatest commandment and that the first was to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:37) The more we love God as we should, then the more we will love others as we should. As we love others, including those we might consider “unlovable”, the more we show Christ to a lost and dying world.
Everywhere you look, the world is a ripe mission field saturated with opportunities for us to love our neighbor. Each time we demonstrate love towards others, we are loving Christ at the same time because Jesus said, ” Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:40). Even within your congregation, the church has the opportunity to engage in missions.
Here are some examples of mission engagement within your own church:
Missions Engagement to senior adults:
- free lawn care or auto repairs, especially to widowed women.
- weekly house cleaning and laundry services
- provide free rides to doctor appointments, bank, pharmacy, hair salon, and grocery shopping
- provide home cooked meals,
- assigning a church member to check in on a regular basis, particularly if the senior adult lives alone.
Missions Engagement to single parents:
- provide free baby sitting, especially when there are siblings
- provide free lawn care or auto repairs, especially to single mothers with young children
- establish a mentoring program to teach budgeting, parenting skills, etc.
Missions Engagement to families:
- provide free baby sitting,
- start a Mother’s Day Out ministry,
- create monthly date nights with child care that are free or low cost,
- establish a mentoring program of more seasons couples mentoring younger or struggling couples,
- establish an “emergency fund” through donation collections so if a family needs help with their electric bill, groceries, or an unplanned repair bill the church is in a position to help.
- provide free Biblical counseling services to couples and behavioral counseling for children with behavioral needs,
- establish an adoption fund that will help young couples struggling with infertility be able to adopt.
Missions Engagement to college and young adults:
- establish a scholarship fund to help low-income families send their children to college,
- provide tutoring,
- provide mentoring,
- assign college students who live at the dorms to a family from the church to be their “adopted” family,
- provide life skill workshops for writing good resumes, college papers, or leadership skills,
- establish a mentoring program,
- provide free Biblical counseling services,
- securing permission of college officials (if needed) to go on campus with games and pizza and an opportunity to tell the students about Christ.
Missions Engagement to children and teens:
- free or low cost (or set cost based on income) music lessons, dance lessons, gymnastics, sports teams, etc., as an after school/summer alternative;
- create a scholarship fund for children to attend private school
- establish a day care and/or Christian school within your church with reduced tuition for children of church members
- provide tutoring services;
- A certified instructor could lead a driver’s ed class;
- provide safe weekend activities for teens to participate in as they date or hang out with friends.
Missions Engagement to infant and preschool children
- establish a day care ministry and VPK program
- set up a scholarship fund to help low-income families with day care tuition
- have a diaper closet where low-income families can receive free diapers and/or infant formula,
- set up a closet for gently used baby items such as cribs, car seats, strollers
- set up a hospital visitation team that visits the new mom and baby, prays for them and gives a gift to welcome the new baby
- establish a team that visits the new mom at home weekly for six weeks
- offer home cleaning and laundry services for the first six weeks after birth, especially with c-section births or when children are born premature or with medical needs.
The possibilities are limited only by the gifts, skills, talents, etc. of your congregation. The better you know your congregation, the more missions engagement opportunities you will find. Here are a few other possible mission opportunities to consider:
- If you have an attorney in your congregation, he or she could be missional in providing pro bono work.
- A dentist in your congregation, could provide free dental cleanings once a quarter.
- People with the ability to sew, can make blankets for newborns, clothes for low-income families, or provide free alternations.
- Even senior adults can be engaged in missions. They can send out birthday cards, pack brown bag lunches for a group to distribute among the homeless. If they can are not physically able to participate in the mission ministries of the church, they can pray for them.
- Establish a missions engagement opportunity around ministering to those with cancer or other terminal medical conditions.
Missions Engagement in the Community:
Just about every missions engagement opportunity you provide within your congregation, you can also provide within your community and city. Then you can also expand on those ministries and add other mission opportunities, such as having a food pantry or leading a grief care, divorce recovery, or addiction recovery groups. You could start a prison ministry or hospital ministry, a soup kitchen, or open up your fellowship hall on freezing nights for homeless people to have a warm place to sleep. Again, knowing your congregation, their abilities, gifts, and passions can help you as you seek the missions God would have your church be engaged in.
State Missions Engagement
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. — Galatians 6:10
While everyone in your congregation should be engaged in missions, less people may be engaged as your mission strategy reaches further and further away from home – and that’s okay. Galatians 6:10 says that as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone. Not everyone will have the financial means to travel. Some will have health issues that will prevent them from being able to travel or do certain mission work. Some may not be able to take time off from work to go. Young mothers may not be able to leave their children for a week long mission project. But as people have opportunity, they should go.
State missions might look like helping after a disaster such as a hurricane or tornado. It might be presenting a program in a park or doing some organized activities in a park. It could be helping a small church with some much needed repairs to their building. Baptist Churches can reach out to their State Convention Offices or the North American Mission Board for mission opportunities your church can be a part of. If your denomination has similar entities, plug into them for discovering missional opportunities. You can also reach out to your state’s elected officials to see how your mission team could help – such as picking up trash in a state park or some other clean up project.
International Missions Engagement
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. –Matthew 28:19-20
The Church’s Responsibility To the Ends of the Earth
2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” This is why He mandated that we were to go into all the world and preach the gospel in every nation. As a church, you should seek out mission opportunities into other countries, organize a team from your church, help the team raise funds to go, commission the team, and support them through prayer. Should a husband go and his family remains at home, the church has a responsibility to check in on his family and provide help when needed. Baptist Churches can contact the International Mission Board for short-term mission opportunities. There are many organizations that send missionaries overseas and you can team up with any of them for a short-term mission project.
Your church also has the responsibility to teach the Great Commission, impress upon your congregation the great need for missionaries, and when God calls a member of your church into full-time missions, you should help support them financially, through prayer, through supplies, or any other support they might need. If your church doesn’t not have any missionaries they are currently supporting, contact the International Mission Board or other Mission Organization to “adopt” a missionary for your church to support. Here 2 There Ministries is a great place to start for training on working with missionaries and resources to help support missionaries.
Why is Missions Engagement so Important? Because God so loved the world.
Every local body of believers has a Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and utter most parts of the earth. Missions is not optional. Jesus gave the command to Go! Missions is so important to Jesus that He calls every Christian to be engaged in missions. Why? Because He loves every single person and does not want anyone to spend eternity in Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” If you or your church is not engaged in missions, then ask yourself, how many people will miss out on everlasting life because you and/or your church did not engage in missions?
If your church is not training and engaging its members in missions, then it is in direct disobedience of this mandate. You cannot expect revival to come if your church is not engaging in this function of church ministry that Christ mandated.
The ministry of the church includes engaging its members to serve through missions within its congregation, community, state, nation, and internationally.
The third function of Church Ministry is Worship, Music, & Arts
Read about the other functions of church ministry here:
Invitation & Hospitality
Administration & Support