Explore the roles...
Who was Jesus talking to in Matthew 28:18-20, when he commanded us to go to all peoples?
Short answer: all of us. Does that mean we all will physically go? No, it doesn't. But it does mean that we should all be involved in taking the gospel to all the peoples.
What is your role?
Below you will find descriptions of the key roles we'll need to unleash in order to engage last peoples. In addition, you can take a fun survey and explore your own potential niche.
The Roles in Engaging the Unengaged
People who study missions typically divide the work into five major roles:
Intercessors: These are the pray-ers. They prepare the way and sustain the work.
Goers: Often called the "those on the front-lines." These are folks who actually go cross-culturally to engage the peoples.
Senders: Sometimes called the "rope holders," these people pray for and pay for the entire effort. They provide emotional and physical support.
Mobilizers: These are strategic motivators, they sound the alarm and recruit the team.
Welcomers: These offer hospitality to the many who find themselves traveling to our neighborhoods.
Exploring the Roles More Deeply
Content influenced by Steve Shadrach, https://www.thetravelingteam.org/articles/goer-sender-mobilizer-and-welcomer
Pre-engagement Support, Sustainment
These are the pray-ers. Intercession is prayer that pleads with God for your needs and the needs of others. But it is also much more than that. Intercession involves taking hold of God's will and refusing to let go until His will comes to pass.
Intercession is warfare -- the key to God's battle plan for our lives. But the battleground is not of this earth. The Bible says, "We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and spiritual powers in the heavens above" (Eph. 6:12).
Intercessory prayer is key in preparing for the work of new engagement, and for sustaining ongoing work. Prayer is the work.
Often called "those on the frontlines." In a sense we are all goers, all front-line warriors, because Jesus gave us the command to “go and make disciples of all nations”.
In the global sense, workers to the unengaged are literally on the frontlines, and the rest of us are supporting them in various ways.
The key here is that we all have a responsibility for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We should all be looking to Jesus for our right place in this.
Interestingly, we often thought in terms of western workers doing the 'going,' but in our age, the majority church is sending workers in ever-increasing numbers. It is possible that the key to engaging the unengaged is the mobilization of the majority world in sending and going.
Providing the Earthly Support
There are people who are called to stay and hold the ropes for those who do go.
Out of the 100,000 students who volunteered for missions from 1890-1930 about 20,000 went and 80,000 stayed at home to help fund and support them. What if we did this globally? What if the global church sent out some 20,000 new missionaries with the express goal of engaging the unengaged? What if for every one missionary we sent there were four dedicated families supporting them, just like the missionary movement of the early 20th century?
This task of engaging the last peoples will take all of us, but it is doable. Not just because we have seen such a movement before, but because we worship a God who does exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
A World Christian begets World Christians! Are you one? Are you a Sender?
Motivating and Training
These are the ones whose hearts are on the field but have stayed behind to rally the troops. They form global task forces at their churches. They get people praying and giving and going. They organize short and long-term teams. They get books and materials into the Christian’s hands.
Mobilizers are sometimes called “pests” or “fanatics” behind their backs! Ralph Winter, founder of the U.S. Center for World Missions, says the highest priority within the Body of Christ right now is for more mobilizers. More men and women in every church, every town, every campus who will help open people eyes to what God is doing around the world and helping people plug into their role. A good definition for mobilization is: “Deploying an army of laborers to the front lines where they are ordering their lives around the Great Commission”. These are the ones helping believers find their niche as either intercessors, senders, welcomers, mobilizers, or goers.
There are well over 1 million international students in western universities. Western universities have become international melting pots, perfect points of contact with individuals from unengaged people groups. Statistics show most international students will come to a western university and study for 4-6 years and NEVER enter (or certainly not eat a meal) in a local's home. They want to, but aren’t invited. How would you feel if that happened to you in another country?
We can impact the world right here in our backyard because the world sends their best and brightest (the future leaders they are grooming) right to our doorstep. You can adopt one or more while they are here. Pray for them, love on them, share your life and faith with them. Let them see what your life, family, and faith is all about.