Missions Catalyst 01.13.10 – Practical Mobilization

In This Issue: Seven Ways Mission Mobilizers Can Really Rock 2010

  • FEATURE: Seven Ways Mission Mobilizers Can Really Rock 2010
  • EVENTS: New on the Missions Catalyst Calendar

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.

FEATURE: Seven Ways Mission Mobilizers Can Really Rock 2010


What are your hopes and dreams for this coming year? Have you set goals and made plans? Will you take this gift of 12 little slices of forever and make them count like never before? Me, too. At least I hope so.

I want to give you seven ways to trampoline forward. If you’re already doing all seven of these … well, in that case, you can write Practical Mobilization next month! (I bow to your greatness!) Most of us, I suppose, are doing some of these. Good for you. Good for us. But maybe one or two of these suggestions will be a kick in the pants and inspire you to submit to God’s desire to use you in a fresh and fiery way in 2010.

Want to rock 2010? Here you go:

1. Write a book.

You have a story. You have expertise. You have a desire for people to call up and ask, “Hey, can you speak to my group?” A book might just be the ticket to greater influence. Pitch it to a publisher or go it alone. A friend once told me he thinks of his first book as an expensive business card. But you might even be able to make a few bucks on it.

If you’re game, take about ten seconds right now and ask yourself, “If I were going to write a book this year, what would it be about?” “What would I call it?” And, really, “What’s holding me back?”

One way to get going is to start writing your book in your blog. Day by day, or week by week (whatever rate works for you) start crafting and floating out the ideas that will eventually form your book. This keeps you going and helps bring clarity to your thinking. It can also bring the benefit of your blog readers’ knowledge and experience to the people who will eventually read your book, as they respond with comments and conversations.

Me? Once again this year, I’m thinking I need to write “Raising Global Kids.” It just won’t go away.

2. Develop a seminar.

On the way to the book, put together a sharp, relevant seminar with both a three-hour and a 60-minute version. Try it first on the most forgiving (yet smart) group you can find. I’m thinking a club for retired missionaries maybe. Then when you don’t feel too terrible about it, get the word out. Aim to present it twelve times in 2010.

I’m working on “Five Things You Need to Know about the World.” I don’t have room to give it all away here, but here are two of the headlines: “#2: Fear Will Kill Us,” and “#4: Jesus’ Plans Are Bigger than Ours.”

If you even think about taking action on this, please invest 4.5 minutes to watch Duarte Design’s Five Rules for Presentations.

3. Make announcements.

If your church loops PowerPoint slide announcements before the service starts (and who doesn’t now?), produce weekly missions slides to go in the loop. Highlight families who’ve taken mission trips. Show an image of an unreached people group and two quick ways to pray for them. Display a great missions quote along with the photo of who said it.

Three things to keep in mind for this:

  • Make sure the design is subtle, nice, and with text that’s legible from outer space. I agree with Chesterton that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, but let’s set the bar high in this case.
  • A series title might be good for these slides to help people sense the connection. I’m planning to use “Global Flash.”
  • Always include contact info so people the Holy Spirit nudges through your slides will have a next step to take.

4. Double the eyeballs.

Double the number of people reading your ezine, blog, Twitter feed, or Facebook page. You’re taking the time to write it, right? So your assumption must be that it would be helpful for at least some people to read it. Have you reached all of the people who would benefit? If not, how can you get closer?

  • Write (shoot, produce, or post) something worth reading (or watching, or listening to).
  • Let people know it’s available. At minimum, stop sending out emails that don’t include addresses or links to the stuff you produce. When you speak, offer your audience the easiest way you can get away with to connect with you further. Don’t spam people. But unless you want to be intentionally elusive (Jesus sometimes was), be purposefully accessible.

Now, if you made it this far and you’re thinking, “Eewww, this is all so huge, techy, and impersonal,” read on. The next three ways to rock 2010 are very much local, personal, and even intimate.

5. Take a group of friends to visit an unreached people group.

What if you said to your small group, “I’d like to introduce you to the Bohras of India.” Would they say, “That sounds bohring!” or maybe, “Can we do that some other time? I’m really hoping we can start the new study by Beth Moore and Rob Bell!” (I made that up, but wouldn’t that be fun?) Or, would they nod and say, “We trust you. Tell us more”?

If you’ve earned the latter response, give this some thought: You don’t have to get on a plane. Instead, give six weeks to Crescent Project’s Bridges curriculum. Maybe take a Saturday morning to visit the closest/densest population of unreached immigrants you can find. Or even easier, cook Indian food for them and watch Slumdog Millionaire together. Yes, Indian food is tricky to prepare. For ham-fisted epicureans like me, I recommend Patak sauces).

6. Walk a mile or two, with three.

On a smaller scale, pick three people that you can pour some of you into over the next year. I’m not really sure how you find them, but I bet they’re there: Three people in your network, same gender as you are, who would benefit from you listening to them and asking questions of them on a regular (weekly? monthly?) basis.

Help them imagine the road that will take them where God wants, then regularly challenge, encourage, and equip them to walk it.

7. Get to know Jesus and your wife better.

Granted, you might not have a wife. You might be one, be looking for one, be looking to be one, et cetera. My point here is to pay careful attention to the most significant relationships in your life.

First: Jesus. Drink the Gospels in great, long draughts. And then hang out with him. I have no trouble writing this. Little trouble with the first part. Much trouble with the second. God have mercy.

Second: your wife (or whoever else is close, really close, to you). Find and keep finding the right balance between work and wife. How do you start? Ask. Cut and paste this into an email the next time you’re away from home:

“Hi Honey. I love you and wanted you to know I’m thinking about you. Quick question: Can you give some thought to how I’m doing in terms of balancing my commitment our marriage and commitment to my ministry? Thanks. I look forward to chatting about this soon.”

Remember that the primary focus of your ministry could be the one you share a bathroom with.


There you go. Seven ways to rock 2010. May God give unexpectedly huge success to our efforts this year. All for his glory and for many to find life in Jesus. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these ideas and additional things you intend to do to rock 2010.

>> Comment here or send an email.

EVENTS: New on the Missions Catalyst Calendar

Work for a mission agency and want to help people in the churches you serve learn more about missions? Take them through the six week intro-to-missions, interactive, online course, Kingdom Expansion 101. The next class kicks off January 27.

Got missionaries to equip? Send them to Toronto for MissionPREP’s two-week seminar on language acquisition, PLANTS, February 15-26, and/or the two-week session of pre-field training, COPE, April 12-23. Similar training events and others are held regularly by Mission Training International in Colorado, the Center for Intercultural Training in North Carolina  and… what are other sources, readers? Leave a comment here.

>> Complete calendar.

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