Saturday, March 12, 2011

Missions Model

I've recently started my role as Missions Coordinator at Vineyard Community Church in Lexington. While sharing my heart for India with others and getting people excited in missions is easy for me, leading a team to develop our missions strategy and goals is completely new territory. I am honored that the leadership at VCC trusts me with this role and that God trusts me with this role as well. Trusting myself has been more of a struggle and instead of letting doubt take over I've been spending some time in devotion trying to find direction. This morning as I prepared for our missions team meeting tonight I had a breakthrough and would like to share.

The past few weeks I've been looking through manuals and workbooks for new missions departments to work through. Like so many other times in life, reading someone else's opinion on what God would like us to do--or what they've done with no mention of God being involved--sent my head spinning. Overcome with thoughts of insecurity and inability I decided to forget about the manuals.

The next idea was to wing it, which I abandoned quickly. God definitely can make things happen without our doing but doing our part is an important preparation. Logically, I went to the Great Commission where God directs us to "go and make disciples of all nations." Good advice. But how?

Why not look at how Jesus carried out ministry? Looking through the Gospels I found the following model:

He encouraged others to understand his beliefs by inviting them to come & see. (John 1:37-39)
He focused on the growth of key Christian through building relationships with these people, building them up in their faith to witness to others.  The beautiful part, he chose normal healthy Christians to be the leaders. (John 1:43)
He appointed them to lead others in their community and surrounding areas by equipping them to duplicate his ministry. (Matthew 4:18-20)
He made these leaders his apostles 2 1/2 years after his ministry started. He didn't say I'm the Messiah, Make others believe. He took his time. Allowing the apostles to witness, understand, and practice ministry alongside him. (Luke 6:12-16)
My favorite part--Through this model everyone is given their role in the body of Christ building on their personal strengths. In turn this encourages unity amongst believers (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Crazy to think our NEW methods of facilitating change, developing sustainable programs and encouraging ownership through experience was exemplified by Jesus and the apostles thousands of years ago. Even more encouraging that God knew we would be at this crossroads, confused on how to move forward, and gave us the answer through Jesus' example!

I'm really excited about tonights meeting. While the nerves are still present I am again reminded that my role is a very small part in the big picture and I'm just here to carry out one part that God has graciously shared :)

With Love-
Jessica

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