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Seven Dynamics for Advancing
Your Church in Missions

Page 2 — Four Major Obstacles

In this article I would like to describe four major obstacles to missions that the North American mission community is not adequately resolving. Then I would like to describe seven dynamics that I believe will help any church advance in missions.

Professor Howard Hendricks on one occasion said that “A problem well defined is a problem half solved.” I would like to describe four obstacles to advancing churches in missions. I will then describe how the seven dynamics help to overcome those obstacles. These are not the only obstacles to missions, but from my perspective they are the major contenders.

The first obstacle to advancing churches in missions is the common perception that mission is peripheral to Christianity. From pastors in the pulpit to Christians in the pew, most perceive missions to be the domain of super saints, hyperactive Christians or maybe for those who are just a little weird. The dynamics that follow describe how to demonstrate the centrality of missions to our faith and how to relate world missions to “normal folks” in the pew.

The second obstacle is the ineffectiveness of mission leaders and enthusiasts in relating missions to contemporary audiences. We have met the enemy, and he is us! Some mission leaders have been so much a part of the mission community and for so long that they have become inept at communicating missions effectively to the non-involved. The dynamics that I will discuss help mission enthusiasts and leaders to analyze their audience and develop methods and techniques that relate to where people are.

The third obstacle to advancing missions in churches is the nature of pastoral ministry which tends to focus on local needs. The spiritual gift of pastor-teacher does not naturally lend itself toward global issues. Pastors by training and experience are generally ill equipped to lead their church in world missions. In this article we will look at missions in the local church from the viewpoint of the senior pastor and the crucial leadership role he plays and what can be done in mobilizing churches for world missions.

The fourth obstacle to advancing churches in missions is the influence of the North American culture on the evangelical church. Materialism, pluralism, individualism, existentialism, hedonism, etc...are major obstacles to getting North American Christians involved in missions. The seven dynamics that follow describes how to raise up counter-cultural “world Christians” who will attract others to a Christian life-style focused on reaching the world.

God's purpose and plan for mankind will always be spearheaded by visionary leadership. Although Abraham, Moses, Nehemiah and the apostle Paul had very different personalities and backgrounds, yet all had one thing in common: each had received a compelling vision from God of what He wanted them to do. The dynamics that follow are antidotes to the obstacles for advancing God's mission in today's world.

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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