Generic Missions Promotion Larry Walker Style
Larry Walker is a staff member of Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas, Texas. He is also a Last $1000 coordinator for the U.S. Center for World Mission, a Perspectives class coordinator, and the south-central regional coordinator for ACMC.
He said a man came up to him once and said, Youre the first generic missions person Ive met. Youre not promoting any one ministry; youre promoting missions.
Walker began his career as a generic missions person when, during a furlough that began in 1981 and that has not yet ended, he started recruiting missionaries. I realized I could go back to Guatemala and continue the work Id begun, but if I could recruit others, I could multiply myself. Instead of being one person alone, Id fill a number of slots.
But by mid-1985, with a number of new missionary recruits on their way to the field, Walker was becoming frustrated because as I attracted more and more missionaries, I realized our church couldnt support them all.
In January 1986 Walker heard of the U.S. Center for World Missions Perspectives course. Thinking it would be fun and strategic to lead such classes, he attended the February 86 Perspectives Coordinators Workshop where, for the first time, he said, he was exposed to the whole missions movement mentality.
One evening Dr. Winter said, Some of you will have to stay here (in the U.S.). The problem is not finding people to go. The bottleneck is in local churches willing to stand behind them. We need people who are able to mobilize local churches.
Walker, already a member of the ACMC south-central regional steering committee, thought ACMC would be a perfect vehicle for mobilizing churches. When he presented his ideas, the steering committee agreed, and have since sponsored a Perspectives course and begun a Concerts of Prayer movement.
The three most important tools for mobilizing churches as far as Walker is concerned are, for vision and education: the U.S. Centers Perspectives course and Year of Vision. For carrying out the vision: the management tools that ACMC provides. And for the power to make it happen: Dave Bryants Concerts of Prayer. The bottom line, says Walker, is that missions is a spiritual issue; theres never been a mission movement without concerted prayer.
Besides promoting the tools and programs these three groups have to offer, Walker has his sights on establishing a regional center for world mission in Dallas, and a regional mission training center
Right now were sending missionaries out who dont know how to learn a new culture. They either bail out on their first term, or are not as effective as they could be. He believes a training center where people can learn how to learn a new culture and how to plant a church could help.
Walker also hopes to replicate himself a dozen times by training 12 more generic ACMC representatives. Already, he says, he has four men who are working with him and two who are praying about it.
Another Walker vision is for mission mobilization teams similar to those sponsored by Caleb Resources at the U.S. Center for World Mission. Rather than recruiting missionaries, however, these teams would specialize in mobilizing churches.
Last but not least, Walker wants to see a regional director for ACMC: a full-time guy to multiply mission-minded churches.
By the year 2000, he wants to have raised up 100,000 World Christians200 of them from his church. He also wants to raise $100 million in loose change offerings.
A World Christian, he says, is a person who uses the Global Prayer Digest five minutes every day to pray for missions and unreached groups, who saves his loose change for frontier causes, and who attends a Frontier or World Christian Fellowship meeting at least once a month.
Weve already begun in our church, he said. Weve adopted the Kurdish people. Were praying for a couple to go from our midst; and we have started a loose change program to support the project at least three-fourths.