Mission agencies need to take into account Biblical and theological considerations when they shape their strategies and goals. This is not a case of providing ‘proof texts’ to give a justification for what we are doing, but to consider our activities in the light of the broad message of Scripture. When there is an apparent conflict between a Scriptural position and ‘conventional wisdom’ or accepted ‘best practice’, we must be prepared to be guided by our Scriptural convictions, even though that might be counter-cultural or counter-intuitive.
Mission Is God’s Activity
- We participate in mission at God’s invitation because he wants us to be involved, not because he needs us or can’t do it without us.
- Our publicity, recruitment and fundraising must be careful never to attribute to human beings a role or significance in mission which belongs to God alone.
- Prayer must be central both to the life of the agencies and to how we present ourselves to the public.
- The broader work of mission and the ministry of Bible translation are more important than the success or even the continued existence of any agency.
Churches are God’s Primary Strategy
- The agency’s role is to support churches in their participation in mission.
- The agency’s interaction with individuals should be in the context of their church family. We should not seek to separate individuals from their church.
- Churches must have significant and real opportunities to speak into the work that their members do.
Mission Is Centrifugal
- Agencies need to go out to the churches we are working with; we should not expect them always to come to us.
- We need to be proactive in building relationships with churches and leaders.
- We need to be prepared to go to churches and meet them in their locations for things like member debriefs.