Where do we start?
Want to start the conversation at your church? Here are a few tips.
1. Pray for your church and its leaders
Ministry is hard work, and church leaders may feel discouraged by the overwhelming task of engaging and discipling your whole community. Starting the conversation about new kinds of ministry might feel like you’re adding one more thing to their plate. Pray for a spirit of unity as you point out ministry gaps and suggest new ways to love and serve.
“Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” Philippians 2:2
2. Pray for humility and discernment
If you have a specific kind of ministry on your heart, you’ll need humility and discernment to lead it well. Don’t let your passion make you unkind as you talk about what needs to be done. If God wants his people involved in missions or a specific kind of ministry, he will make it happen.
If and when God starts to move in your church or community, pray that he gives you discernment for how to proceed. Pray he would give you a Christlike heart of service and love.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2:3-5
3. Gather a team
When the time comes to start the work, gather a team of people who can labor with you. Just as your pastor or missions pastor can’t do all the ministry of your church, neither can you.
Consider not only what gifts you might have to offer but also your deficiencies. If you have tons of Muslim friends but don’t know how to share the gospel with them, find someone who understands cross-cultural engagement. Enlist a prayer warrior who will pray as you share the gospel. Find Muslim background believers who could offer their perspectives and assistance.
God’s people are meant to do the work together.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12
4. Do good, and give God the glory
No matter what happens, remember missions and ministry is God’s work. Whether or not you have a lot of visible fruit, trust that God is moving.
Connect with other churches in your area doing similar kinds of Great Commission work. Celebrate every step someone takes toward Christ, and lean on him when the work inevitably gets hard.
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
Church member, your church needs you. Don’t stand on the sidelines of the Great Commission. The task is too large and urgent for you not to be involved.