Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century

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As already explained, planning and management is primarily concerned with the most effective ways of reaching organisational goals. Therefore, it is imperative for various churches to set goals and then plan to effectively manage both the human and capital resources available to them as they participate in the missio Dei.

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The unpredictable economic climate has created budgeting challenges for many organisations, and the church is no exception. This has created the need for churches to figure out the best way to manage their limited resources. Church leaders are often challenged with ensuring there is continued funding to support current programmes and fixed operational costs. This can be difficult because the financial needs of a church can be significant, and juggling limited resources can be stressful.

To this end, Callahan concludes that 'when congregations utilise effective church finance practices, they invest less time, find more creativity, and have stronger results' Callahan In doing this, leadership and congregation members being assigned the responsibility of managing the capital resources of the church should have in mind that they are stewards of God's property. The cornerstone of stewardship is the full acknowledgement and consistent practice of allowing God to direct what he wants done with what he has entrusted us to manage. Stewardship defines our practical obedience in the administration of everything under our control and everything entrusted to us.

This sense of stewardship is what makes the church being first of all accountable to God. Stewardship encompasses the way we live our lives and manage our time and the resources of God. It creates the awareness that everyone shall give account of himself or herself to God and be rewarded. Management of human resources for mission. Human beings are the most important assets of any organisation and the church is not an exception. Human resource involves the commitment, skills, knowledge, potential and availability of people. It extends to all their assets whether personal and financial.

A church's human resource base falls into two categories: Volunteer workers and paid church staff. How effective a denomination is in the fulfilment of the missio Dei can therefore be determined by how people and resources are managed. The solution to faith communities' questions about how to participate in God's missional praxis is a critical, constructive dialogue or correlation between their interpretations of the realities of the global and local context and the faith resources at their disposal Hendriks The Harvestime International Institute holds that as believers, each of us is a manager of spiritual resources with which God has entrusted us Harvestime International Institute Willis remarked that not only does the church involve the laity, it is the laity Willis It can therefore be established that every believer is called to perform a ministry.

The mandate of the church in mission is not the mandate of a special class of people but every member of the body of Christ. Therefore, this makes each congregation member a missional resource for the advancement of the kingdom of God. The missional ecclesiological orientation of LCI is not a building or an institution but a community of witness, called into being and equipped by God and sent into the world to testify to and participate in Christ's work.

The church focuses on the formation of a Christian community around God's mission in and for the world within the congregation's own context and as they are being led by the Holy Spirit. Local congregations are therefore impelled to step out of their comfort zones and cross boundaries for the sake of the mission of God World Council of Churches The Greek word for equip or perfect in verse 12 means to mend.

It also means to educate, to train, to guide or to enable a person fully to do a task. The equipper's task is to perfect the saints so that they can do the work of the ministry and build up the body of Christ. The primary purpose of the equippers is to enable the saints to minister and live worthy lives of humility, meekness, long suffering, forbearance and unity Eph 1: In this sense, it can be said that the equippers are the human resource managers in the economy of the church. However, the equippers' or leaders' role as managers is even more needed after people are ready for the service of ministry.

Human resources managers plan, direct and coordinate the administrative functions of an organisation. Ministry team members are valued not only for their performance contributions to the ministry but also because they are members of God's family. Effective Christian management results in the ministry team being a family of people who care about and for one another. Management of Christian organisations is people-centred and participative. Ministry management places a high value on cooperation and teamwork.

Team members are motivated by a shared sense of vision and mission, which is more important to them than personal gain. Goals are pursued selflessly and sacrificially. How Christians work with one another is just as important as what they are striving to accomplish.

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  5. A key aim of ministry management is to help team members become more Christ like. Management in Christian organisations is ultimately a partnership with God, built on prayer, faith and obedience in the participation in the missio Dei. The role of missional leadership in the management in Lighthouse Chapel International. Management is like health; it is often easier to describe it by its absence than by its presence.

    The complexity of the management task rises exponentially with the size of an organisation. Although many people hold the view that there are natural or born leaders, good management is however a learned skill. Most churches and mission organisations begin with a natural leader, often one who has a strong charismatic personality, thus ability to inspire others with his or her vision of what God wants to accomplish.

    This type of leadership is effective so long as the leader has the time and energy to oversee the entire operation of the organisation. As soon as the organisation multiplies, it becomes very difficult for the natural leader to give day-to-day guidance; management skills are therefore needed. Dag Heward-Mills remarked that 'while the membership of most churches has increased over the past few years; the pastor's ability for handling larger crowds has not been developed' Heward-Mills a: This observation from Bishop Dag is very true, especially among Ghanaian Pentecostal churches.

    Many of their leaders lack the skills to properly manage their churches. According to Hirsch This requires the reinterpreting of the denomination's foundational values in the light of the demands of its mission. In this regard, the missional leader needs to be a visionary, who can outlast significant opposition from within the denominational structures and can build alliances with those who desire change. In addition, the leader has to encourage signs of life within the existing structures and raise up a new generation of leaders and churches from the old Addison Leadership is a critical gift, provided by the Spirit because, as the Scripture demonstrates, fundamental change in any body of people requires leaders capable of transforming its life and being transformed themselves.

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    The fact that LCI has arisen beyond the oversight of its founder and is still functioning effectively points to good missional leadership. The church currently has over branches in 79 countries. The leadership and the management system of the church epitomise a balance between spiritual and organisational leadership in LCI.

    It is in this light that Bishop Heward-Mills advised that a good study of administration and management will do the church of God a lot of good Heward-Mills a: In emphasising the responsibility of the church in planning strategies, Malphurs submits that without mission strategies, churches are only wasting their time. Hence, the strategy of the church is the vehicle that enables the church to accomplish the great commission Malphurs Planning is a concept that is highly prioritised in LCI. Carefully written down plans are well communicated in the church. This strategic plan of LCI is usually developed by the Bishop Council the highest decision-making and planning body as they are led by the Holy Spirit, then it moves down to the general council, regional council, lay preacher's council and the stallion's council who develop strategic plans for the ministry.

    The church has been organised in such a way that every activity of their church leaders is been recorded and monitored through a Web system called Pastoshep. Pastoshep is a computer programme used to keep accurate data and statistics of pastoral activities.

    Discovering the Mission of God

    It has afforded the church the opportunity to care and monitor all ministers in LCI. Heward-Mills remarked that despite the limitations as a result of limited addresses and telephone numbers in Ghana, the Pastoshep has become a reliable and technological method of assessing the work of all pastors and shepherds alike. Thus, without being there to physically see what people are doing, this computer programme keeps accurate data of what everybody in LCI is doing Heward-Mills b: The Pastoshep has also helped the church in the management of their congregational membership at every location they have established a church or cell group.

    The programme has been designed in such a way that every detail of their members is stored on the system. The only disadvantage of the Pastoshep is that it requires Internet access everywhere it is being used. Therefore, ministers or pastors, who have churches or cell groups at locations without Internet, are required to travel to where they could have access to Internet. In their mission approach, whenever they are to plant a church or have an open air crusade dubbed, 'Healing Jesus Evangelism Campaign', they usually send the Advance Team to the venue.

    The Advance Team is a special group of highly skilled and experienced individuals charged with the mandate to explore new territories and organise campaigns many weeks in advance. They make all the necessary preparations for the campaign to begin. Managing the resources of the church with a missiological focus. The church is endowed with several resources that should be properly managed for missional purposes. Resource management is essential to any organisational success. Because every single soul in the church has a role to play, it is important to pay attention to all persons in the church as well as their gifts and talents.

    A balanced church is the one that has people from all walks of life active in it. There should be the young and old, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, and men and women. It is therefore imperative for churches to incorporate all sorts of people to share the burden of mission. Heward-Mills holds that more often than not, the category of people who are written off, as far as ministry is concerned, stand a chance of contributing greatly to the kingdom Heward-Mills b: The fact that the ministry cannot be borne by one person necessitated the training and management of the people for effective accomplishment of the church's goals.

    According to Gibbs and Coffey In LCI, all people from all walks of life are incorporated into the running of the church. The purpose of this approach is to equip them for the fulfilment of the mission of God. Bishop Heward-Mills remarked that he has many medical doctors, specialists, lecturers, architects and engineers, all who are serving as lay pastors Heward-Mills b: Thus, every individual in the church shares the burden of ministry and carrying out the mission of God.

    In Van Gelder's view, when we talk of a congregation, it is the discovering together of the missional vocation of the community. It is beginning to redefine 'success' and 'vitality' in terms of faithfulness to God's calling and sending.

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    It is seeking to discern God's specific missional vocation for the entire community and for all of its members Van Gelder With this worldview, the missional church understands itself to be missionary by nature - called, equipped and sent into the world by the Holy Spirit to participate fully in God's mission Van Gelder The missio Dei presupposes mission communities that are witness to the work of God being carried out.

    The witness to God's work is through the people God calls and sets apart for this mission Guder The establishment of the school was prompted by Bishop Dag's desire to see young men and women trained and equipped for the work of the ministry. Anagkazo started as a 1-year part-time bible school. The first graduation took place in November with 12 students. It later evolved into a 2-year full-time programme and in the academic year, the period of training was extended to 4 years.

    Currently, Anagkazo has over 10 students worldwide who are acquiring ministerial formation education both residentially and through online or distance learning. Graduates of Anagkazo are known for their soul-winning and church-planting passion and have a strong desire to see the gospel preached to every soul everywhere Anagkazo Bible Seminary Pastors and ministers who graduate from the Anagkazo are sent to start churches in communities all over the world. According to the LCI church-planting approach, a group of three or more is always enough to start a church.

    This caused the church to send missionaries to various places and countries to plant churches. Remarkably, many of these young men and women are professionals and are therefore sent as tent-making missionaries. This approach has also helped the church to save a lot of money because these lay ministers are not being paid by the church. Lighthouse and tent-making ministry. We live in an important time with new challenges for the advancement of the gospel.

    One major challenge has to do with finances. It is however an acknowledged fact that every church has a limit to its resources Heward-Mills b: In Cook's observation, if the members of the church who go out as missionaries are more than the church can support, the problem becomes a serious one Cook This is one of the reasons why the 21st century churches should place more emphasis on 'tent-making ministry' as a strategy to overcome financial barriers in the fulfilment of the missio Dei.

    Tent-making ministry refers to the activities of a matured Christian who, while dedicating himself or herself to the ministry of the gospel, receives little or no pay for church work, but performs other jobs to provide support. Specifically, tent making can also be referred to as a method of international Christian evangelism in which missionaries support themselves by working full-time in the marketplace with their skills and education, instead of receiving financial support from a church Siemens The Apostle Paul's missionary account says that he supported himself by making tents while living and preaching in Corinth.

    On another occasion, he reported that he frequently performed outside work, in order not to be a financial burden to the young churches he founded White Tent making is a time-proven and biblical tool, adopted by the Apostle Paul, the first missionary to integrate secular work and ministry McNamara Bishop Heward-Mills defines a lay person or minister as someone who maintains his or her secular job and yet is active in the ministry of the Lord Jesus and a full-time minister as someone who has abandoned his or her secular job to concentrate fully on the ministry Heward-Mills b: To him, one of the greatest keys to extensive ministry work is the tent ministry Heward-Mills Churches in this world that have experienced phenomenal growth have all employed the principle of using lay people for the ministry.

    In emphasising the degree to which the church has adapted this strategy, he wrote that: Though I oversee a hundred churches and several thousand people at the Lighthouse Cathedral, we currently have only seven full-time pastors on staff worldwide. We have over two hundred pastors and trainee pastors within the ministry. Ninety-five percent of them are unpaid lay people ….

    It is not possible to pay salaries and rent an unlimited number of houses for the staff of the ministry. Full-time staff are limited in the number and the amount of work that can be done. The use of lay people is the secret to unlimited expansion of the church. Tent making is very important as it sometimes provides Christians the chance to serve in countries normally closed to mission work.

    Governments hostile to Christianity often accept well-qualified teachers, computer technicians, doctors and engineers into their countries to work, even if these men and women are Christians. These professionals are able to serve the country and support themselves while exploiting that opportunity to perform mission work in those countries. Having discussed how the LCI has been able to apply the principles of missional planning and management in their participation of the missio Dei , assessment of their missional leadership formation is more or less like a kind of copycat.

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    The term 'copycat' is usually referred to a person or thing that copies, imitates or follows the lead of another. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as 'someone who has few ideas of their own and does or says exactly the same as someone else'.

    How to See Discipleship and Mission Become Movements

    In LCI leadership and missional formation, members and aspiring leaders are made to read books and listen to and watch the sermon of Bishop Heward-Mills. They are therefore assessed based on these books and sermons. They are required to preach prescribed sermons in their local churches, which should be in line with that of Bishop Heward-Mills. This approach in their leadership formation leaves little or no room for aspiring leaders church pastors to be themselves and develop their personal capacities in sermon preparation.

    In their understanding, this approach is to give the church a missional brand for uniformity and also avoid any form of heresy. Written by 21st-century field workers, scholars and church leaders, this original ebook provides a companion to Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century. In sixteen original chapters, you're invited to explore the mission of God as presented in the Bible, expressed throughout church history and in cutting-edge best practices being used around the world today. Like its parent volume, this reader provides global perspective, recent missiological research, case studies, recommended further readings and relevant discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

    Dr Mike Barnett is Elmer V. Barnett teaches courses on church planting movements, leadership and teams, creative access business and missions , and the history of the church. Previously he served as a minister of missions and church planter in North America.

    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century
    Discovering the Mission of God: Best Missional Practices for the 21st Century

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