Missions Catalyst 11.10.04 – Practical Mobilization

In This Issue: Mobilizing the Next Generation

  • Conference Mobilizing 20- and 30-somethings
  • Mobilizing Kids in Missions

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

Practical Mobilization by Shane Bennett is published once a month.

FUSION Conference Mobilizing 20- and 30-somethings

Source: Rightnow Campaign

FUSION+dallas is an event to inspire young couples, professionals, singles, and college seniors to fuse their life and their faith. We want to make a difference with the passions and skills that God has given us … but what’s the next step … who do you talk to?

FUSION+dallas is scheduled to be held at the Dallas Convention Center, Saturday, November 13, 2004, featuring popular speakers – including founder and former CEO of Promise Keepers, Coach Bill McCartney; Los Angeles pastor, Erwin McManus; Breakaway Ministries founder, Gregg Matte; missionary, Heather Mercer; poet, Amena J. Brown; and Christian singers, Shane and Shane, and GRITS. The event is open to 20- and 30-year-olds from all walks of life.

“I am excited by the unity and cooperation we’ve seen among local churches,” said Brian Mosley, director and founder of the Rightnow Campaign, the organization behind this event. FUSION organizers will likely expand the event to other major cities.

According to a Barna Research study from September 2003, millions of the 20-somethings alive today who were once active churchgoers as teenagers will no longer be active in a church by their 30th birthday. This age group is less likely to participate in church, donate to churches, be absolutely committed to Christianity, read the Bible, or serve as a volunteer or lay leader in churches.

Mosley said about the vision behind FUSION+dallas: “I believe many 20- and 30-somethings are on the threshold of living big. I think one of the biggest hurdles is our own fear – we get paralyzed by it. We are asking the question, ‘What is God’s will for my life, or what is my purpose?’ It’s easy to get so wrapped up in that question that we begin to think that the whole world revolves around us. We are fearful that we might take a wrong step, after all we sometimes think the whole world is dependent upon me … so instead we take no steps at all.”

Because people retain 90 percent of what they experience, FUSION will send participants on a journey of experiential learning, based on the Greek word “dokime” that blends experience, proof, and character. Participants will be challenged by Bible teaching and worship sessions, as well as through a long list of experiential learning activities designed to take participants to the next level of faith in their Christian walk.

The interactive activities include:

1. Connection Cafe will offer a coffee house environment where attendees can connect and consult with ministries and organizations with specific opportunities to serve in the church, in the community, and around the world. More than 60 national and international ministries will be present, including representatives from Mercy Ships, Evangecube, and New Tribes Mission.

2. Dokime: An Exploration of Faith, a 30-minute interactive experience, will take participants on a journey through the life of Abraham. As they see how Abraham learned about true faith, they will have opportunities to reflect on their own faith. They will be challenged, encouraged, and prepared to explore the question: What is true faith?

3. FUSION discussion groups headed by gifted ministry leaders will address key issues for attendees searching for something more, trying to balance relationships, living on the edge, and pursuing lives of significance.

4. A powerful one-act play will explore faith and the trying circumstances that test one’s faith.

5. Nails Magic will use illusion and magic to allow attendees to think through culturally relevant issues of reality and deception in a mind-stimulating way.

6. HIMprov will endeavor to bring participants joy and laughter as performers illuminate Scripture and apply it to the Christian walk through improv.

7. FUSION Pictures will allow attendees to experience a handful of powerful short films dealing with important real-life issues.

For more information, go to FUSION or call 972.423.5457.

Mobilizing Kids in Missions

By Shane Bennett

“Miss Jill, I’m so glad you taught us that. Now I can use just one hand and pray for the whole world.” Jill Harris, Caleb Project staff member, had just completed a teaching for several children in which she showed them how to pray for the five major blocks of unreached people. “Remember THUMB,” she instructed. “One letter for each finger. One finger for each group: Tribals, Hindus, Unreligious, Muslims, Buddhists.” The kids caught the concept and prayed with gusto.

While there are definite limitations on kids’ involvement in the world, they are not simply caterpillars sliming along until they’re old enough to get involved. At Caleb Project, we enthusiastically believe kids can make a huge contribution to God’s growing kingdom.

Kids can pray: Blessed with fresh faith and a massive capacity to believe God, kids can pray prayers that might never escape the lips of adult Christians. Knowing they serve a big God, they feel okay about praying big prayers. According to Jill Harris, “They just believe.”

Kids can give: Kids can make a difference (remember the widow’s mite!) even though the pennies may rattle freely in their piggy banks. One Caleb Project family was blessed while they lived in Europe by the money sent by their hometown AWANA group. With Christmas approaching, now is a great time for little world changers to think about how they can give to their peers around the world.

Kids can go: By God’s grace, many of our kids will grow up to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Meanwhile, they can go to their friends, or maybe even better, make friends with kids from other cultures. And they can be getting ready. Olympic athletes don’t wake up at age 18 and decide to begin training. They invest most of their growing up years in preparation. Maybe God’s purposes are worth a similar investment on the part of our young missionaries-to-be.

So that’s some of what kids can do. What can you do to help them?

1. Give them Kids THUMB Prayer Cards.

2. November marks The International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church, and the end of Ramadan. What a great time for kids to be engaged in praying for God’s purposes in the world.

3. Read them a missionary biography. Check out youth-oriented biographies on William Carey and Amy Carmichael. Kids eat them up!

4. Pray with and for them. Can you imagine sitting down with a Sunday school class, a niece or nephew, or even your own child and praying, “God use this young one as your ambassador to a place the Church has yet to go”? These are weighty and important prayers. Probably most missionaries had their roads paved by saints who lifted them up when they were yet years from the plane.

Questions? Problems? Submissions? Contact publisher/managing editor Marti Smith.

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