Today, we have an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration within the body of Christ to help accelerate breakthroughs in our cities and around the world among the remaining 7,000+ unreached people groups. We believe God is preparing the way to accelerate the work he wants to do in the world through us, his people. His desire is to work through his whole body, not just through believers in a handful of nations or from one or two denominations. We now live in a time where the desire of many in his body to collaborate is widespread and palpable.
What we need is a paradigm for collaboration that provides the what and the how of collaboration for believers from all backgrounds, professions, and generations. We need a paradigm that moves us from the desire for collaboration to the reality of collaboration on a broader level.
God has been birthing such a paradigm here over the last year, which we are calling PRIME. PRIME stands for Prayer, Research, Innovation, Media and Engagement. It’s the idea that anyone can contribute in one (or more) of these areas to help support ministry to the unreached, and that each area is better together than alone. Media ministry is better when it’s vitally connected to prayer ministry and research. PRIME is the idea that interdisciplinary teams can be formed to support efforts to reach the unreached, that these teams can be more effective than field-trained workers alone because they can help bring the focus and integration of key aspects of ministry to bear—and also help engage the rest of the body of Christ, helping to bridge the gap between what is often seen as the “professionals” and the rest of the church.
Each PRIME area addresses a key barrier to breakthrough in ministry to the unreached. God has given us Prayer, to tear down spiritual strongholds and raise up laborers; Research, to fill knowledge gaps and help fuel prayer; Innovation, to bring creative and non-traditional solutions to practical problems in mission; Media, to mobilize passion, prayer and participation, as well as facilitate new forms of outreach; and Engagement, to help tie all the areas together with a strategic focus on fostering church planting movements.
There are people and ministries already praying, researching, doing new things, utilizing media, and coordinating strategic efforts for the sake of the unreached. What is needed is to bring these efforts together and make them a core part of the DNA of what we do in mission. When we think about reaching the unreached—whatever our part might be personally—we need to begin with this paradigm, with these basic ingredients.
But PRIME isn’t just about the skill and effort behind these activities. It’s about a spirit of creativity and a framework that can help release Holy Spirit-inspired strategies for carrying the gospel to those who need it. PRIME is about unleashing the God-given creativity and potential of the Church while creating just enough of a framework to bring focus and greater effectiveness.
PRIME is about timing. We live in an age where technology, globalization, and the awesome work of the Holy Spirit are converging to create new opportunities in mission, to venture beyond our current perceived limitations and to break out of the ministry status quo that each church, organization and believer faces. We must be wise enough to discern the times in which we live in order to steward well the opportunities before us.
Our prayer is to see PRIME teams formed around every one of the remaining 7,000+ unreached people groups, with extra focus on the 250 largest unreached people groups. We will be working with mission agencies, churches, houses of prayer and other groups to see PRIME teams formed and launched. The PRIME paradigm is something we believe anyone can pick up and run with—and we pray many will. There are many groups in the frontier mission movement, and all of us are better together, connected and integrated in our efforts to follow the spirit of God and his desire to catalyze and accelerate movements of his kingdom all around the world.
We want to see PRIME owned by the whole frontier mission movement and served by a diverse mix of individuals from multiple organizations. One group we are already partnering with is Transform World, which has adopted PRIME as its strategy for Christ’s Missional Challenge. I am currently serving as the North American Facilitator for Transform World, and Frontier Ventures is facilitating Christ’s Missional Challenge. We will be covering more of what Transform World is doing in the next issue of Mission Frontiers.
For those of us leading ministries, PRIME is a challenge to broaden our paradigms about what is involved in ministry in the 21st century beyond traditional ministry models and yet keep the priorities God has given each one. As change continues to accelerate and remake our world, we have the opportunity to take advantage of it for the glory of God, to develop interdisciplinary efforts that tap into the resources God has given us: the extraordinary gifts, passions and expertise of the body of Christ. We have a great opportunity before us to foster the creativity and collaboration that will be needed to fulfill the Great Commission.
I’d love to connect with you and hear your thoughts.