Antioch moments sound great in theory. They even sound great when they happen in other people’s churches. But when Antioch comes home to your local church, it can be a different proposition.
I’m referring to Acts 13, when Barnabas and Saul were set apart and sent out. The gain for the nations can be the felt loss for the local church, and therein lies one of the various tensions sometimes experienced between churches and missions agencies. And though the Great Commission is embraced across Foursquare, the working out of that calling has different implications for the church, the field, the pastor and the missionary.
Some pastors don’t get too loud about global missions because it might cost them their best people. Some disciples try not to look beyond the boundaries of their cities because it might cost them their comfort and security. But as the Word and the Holy Spirit work on our hearts, we all find ourselves propelled toward the peoples and nations.
And when that happens, at a personal or ecclesiological level, how do we connect the dots so that the tension releases into momentum in missions?
Foursquare is working hard to create partnerships between local churches and missions to the nations. As Jeff Roper, Foursquare Missions International (FMI) area missionary to Europe, has stated that local pastors are both the greatest asset and the greatest challenge when it comes to global missions. I know because I am one. So how can things change? We embrace the theory of sending our people at God’s calling, but the practice of sending, and integration with FMI, can be a mystery to many of us.
We can be about the work of intentional development of future missionaries, and so become kingdom-advancing, globally minded local congregations.
In this Connection Studio session, recorded live at Foursquare Connection 2015 in Anaheim, Calif., Kaj Martin, Northwest District missions representative, and Jeff Roper share many insights about the realities, rigors and resultant fruit of becoming a local church that sends missionaries with FMI.
Foursquare uses the Four-Stage Model to assess and match prospective missionaries to receiving nations, and has a great training process pre-deployment, but the main work of training and preparation takes place in the local church. We can be about the work of intentional development of future missionaries, and so become kingdom-advancing, globally minded local congregations.
Whether you already have a missions process in your local church, or are just starting to build one, the conversation and information gleaned from this Studio session will be a great resource to help you develop a value and a culture of missions.
To see more from Connection 2015, click here.