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Seven Dynamics for Advancing
Your Church in Missions
by Larry Walker

Larry Walker served as a missionary in Guatemala, as a missions pastor and currently serves as Southwest Regional Director for ACMC. Larry also serves as co-coordinator of the Mission Mobilization Resource Network of Mission America. This article originally appeared in the Mission Mobilizer's Handbook by the U.S. Center for World Missions, and is reprinted with permission.

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Four trends are radically changing missions in North America. 1) The transition from the industrial age to the information age is changing the way people communicate and the way people are managed. 2) The rise of the third-world missionary force is changing the role of the North American mission industry. 3) The generational transition to the baby-boom generation is forcing us to rethink our methods of motivation and management. 4) The rising influence of ethnic groups in North America is breaking down the dichotomy between local and foreign missions.

Unless the mission community in North America adjusts to these trends, missions will become more and more marginalized. Those agencies and churches that have been most successful in the past are at greatest risk. Their past successes may have blinded them to the changing shifts in missions. Frontier missions is at particular risk. We are facing the most difficult challenge to reach the unreached peoples, especially those located in the 10/40 window, just as the influence of missions in North America is declining. The methods and techniques that fueled the tremendous post-World-War-II missions mobilization effort are ineffective when used with contemporary audiences. If the North American mission industry is to continue to play a key role in reaching the unreached, we must change or die!

For more than twenty years I have wrestled with the issue of how to get contemporary American Christians involved in God's global cause. Gene Getz was an important mentor during my seminary years. At Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas, I experienced a church that excelled at relating Christianity to contemporary America. As a mission pastor at that same church, I was able to experience the failures and successes of involving a boomer congregation in missions. Now as a mission consultant with ACMC, I have been exposed to some of the best mission churches.

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Articles Index

1 Seven Dynamics
2 Four Major Obstacles
3 Vision
4 Management
5 Spiritual Disciplines
6 Integration
7 Leadership
8 Modeling
9 Contextualization
10 Three Values