Everyone who follows my work knows I am a great fan of the local church. It is fundamental to the growth of the Kingdom, along with other forms of being the Church. I have no truck with those who say the day of the local church is over.
I can’t stand what the vast majority of mainline churches and many sideline churches have become. They sit back and wait for people to show up like a spider that spins its web and waits for an unsuspecting victim. I call this the Jerusalem effect, or the “build it and they will come” effect. Oddly enough, this approach to evangelism worked when I started ministry over 50 years ago. Today, however, very few unchurched people come to worship on their own.
Interestingly enough, a friend gave me the URL to Mike Breen’s blog. It was right up my alley. I thought I would share a couple of his quotes with you.
“So let us be clear: missionaries are always better than mission projects. Leaders are more necessary then volunteers. And disciples are surely what we’re going for rather than mere converts.”
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always told churches that volunteers, missions committees, and programs are not the way to go. In our new book, Effective Staffing for the Vital Church, I talk about “backyard missionaries.” Everyone needs to be trained to be a missionary in their everyday life. And disciples are needed instead of volunteers.
Here is another goodie.
“There is a paradigm shift that needs to happen. We need to move from being a worshipping body that sometimes does mission to a missional body that gathers to celebrate and worship.”
I have started telling leaders that it is not enough to have small groups that make disciples; now small groups need to form the missionary arm of the church. Each small group needs a mission in the community.
This leads to Breen’s last comment I want to highlight.
“Missional communities are the training wheels that teach us how to ride the bike of oikos.”
Now this is brilliant. He’s talking about 20-30 people acting as an extended family taking the message to their communities. We need to focus on training Mom and Dad, aunts and uncles, etc. to help their extended families be those backyard missionaries we talk about.
Question: What is your church doing to make backyard missionaries? Share your ideas in the Comments section below.