It’s my job and my vocation to encourage churches to take more of an interest in world mission. That being the case, I should probably explain what I think a church’s mission involvement should look like.
Actually, it’s dead easy; I believe that churches should share the good news of Jesus in word and action both here and overseas. Everything else is about implementation. Larger churches with lots of resources are able to do all sorts of exciting things, but smaller churches are more constrained, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t do exciting things, too.
In practical terms, sharing the message of Jesus at home can be done through Alpha or Christianity Explored courses, Street Pastors, Christians Against Poverty or a home-grown programme for reaching out to people. However, if your evangelism is restricted to praying that people will attend your Sunday evening Gospel Service, you are probably missing the point.
Likewise with world mission, there are lots of options. Some churches support missionaries, others link into projects overseas while others have long standing links with Churches and leaders in other countries. Some churches do their overseas work in their home country by reaching out to the international community in their doorstep. One church I know doesn’t regularly support any missionaries, but has a thriving outreach to overseas students. Did I say that they have no missionaries? Actually, they send a stream of missionaries back to their home country most years.
There are many ways to reach out to people at home and around the world; the key is that we do something. This is partly because this is the calling of the Church; mission is in our very nature, but also because the actual act of being involved in mission brings huge blessing to the church that does it.