14 Steps of Mobilization to Reach the Unreached!
How do we get there from here? How do we mobilize the Body of Christ to see a church established in every people group? George Patterson of Cultural Adaptation Training suggests the following steps, working backwards from final result to first step— 14 Links of Mobilization:
To disciple all peoples, mission decision makers, curriculum developers and career counselors must mobilize 14 sets of persons: six are in the field already; three sets are in the process of forming on the field and five sets of those needing to be mobilized are at home.
Existing Workers on the Field
14. THE NEW NATIONAL CHURCH.
Wise mission planners, like military strategists, begin with long range objectives stated so clearly that each preparatory step is easy to see. Look ahead to see a national church in a currently reached or unreached field, obeying Jesus’ commands and therefore reproducing--often in tiny house churches—among its own people and across cultural barriers to an unreached people (Matt. 28:18-20). Keeping their limited resources or freedom in mind, reason backwards through preparatory steps, avoiding programs too expensive or electronic for national churches to reproduce. Before that, there must be:
13. KEY NATIONAL LEADERS.
For this reproduction, new “servant leaders” on the regional level must mobilize other pastors—a skill acquired from disciplers who take personal, loving responsibility for others’ fruitful ministry; otherwise they become grasping and demanding. For this to happen we need:
12. NATIONAL PASTORS/ELDERS,
who mobilize others for ministry (Eph. 4:11-16)—a skill likewise acquired by being discipled on the job, not in classrooms. This will require:
11. POTENTIAL NATIONAL LEADERS.
Pastoral students, we find, are not simply “educated” but mobilized to edify the local body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-16) where trainers harmonize their teaching with other gifts (I Cor. 12-13). Balanced discipling relates the Word to the work in love—teaching in love to do the Word. In most pioneer fields formal training is impractical (“elder” types cannot leave their responsibilities; economically motivated youths respond, but lacking preparatory education, cannot assimilate the intensive input, and lacking models of well established churches, they cannot realistically apply it). Obviously this requires:
10. NEW CHRISTIANS.
We teach believers first to obey Jesus’ commands (Matt. 28:19-20)—believe, repent, be baptized, love, break bread, pray, give and disciple others (Acts 2:38– 47). Long indoctrination before loving obedience stifles mobilization for sacrificial ministry.
Converts must see missionaries model the loving relationships needed for further discipling: witnessing of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection in a way they can imitate with their family and friends. Before any of these results, there must be:
Potential Workers on the Field
8. MISSIONARY TEAMS ENTER TARGET FIELDS.
Teams that not only combine the needed gifts and cooperative spirit but screen out technology, equipment and methods which national leaders cannot imitate, afford and pass on.
7. CHURCHES AND MISSIONARIES FROM 2/3 WORLD.
We must join with emerging churches now mobilizing their own foreign missionaries who relate better to many unreached peoples than do Westerners. Cultural training never equals being born culturally close, with similar politics, race, language, economic and education levels, family size, rural/urban life style and world view.
6. BI-VOCATIONAL PASTORS AND MISSIONARIES.
Tentmakers can penetrate most remaining unreached fields. Like Paul, they need cross- cultural church planting experience, teams, formal commissioning (Acts 13:1-3) and employment (especially small business) that enables them to penetrate the working class first (Jesus, avoiding being crucified prematurely in Jerusalem, began with fishermen). These links build on:
Workers on the Homefront
5. MISSIONARIES IN TRAINING.
So missionaries, including thousands of bi- vocationals joining 2/3 world workers, need training for discipling leaders on the job, vocational skills and apprenticeships in small businesses.
4. MISSIONARY TRAINERS.
Considering all the above, more trainers must disciple missionaries on the job, reproducing daughter (or house) churches, involving 2/3 world workers and cross-cultural entrepreneurs.
3. MISSION ADMINISTRATORS.
Agencies, therefore, need more church-based teams (“midwives” accountable to home churches to reproduce daughter and granddaughter churches through relationships rather than programs) involving skilled disciplers of pastors/elders, workers from 2/3 world and businessmen.
2. HOME-BASE CHURCHES.
Mission program leaders, then, must plan sacrificial reproduction of their churches among an adopted people through balanced discipling of church-based teams, more partnering with 2/3 world churches and missionary businesspersons.
1. UNBIASED MISSION CAREER COUNSELORS.
Sending churches need counselors to plot career paths through all aspects of mobilization leading to unreached peoples. Otherwise, most missionaries cluster in fields already reached.