We at ARM Ministries believe that missions is the role of the church. It is the church that was given the commission by Jesus to “Go and make disciples, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). In fact, the rise of para-church organizations (missions organizations are para-church organizations since they themselves are not churches) is a fairly recent development in Christian history. Some might say that these para-church organizations grew out of the limitations that local churches, and even some denominations, had in sending missionaries (which literally means “sent ones”) to the field. Perhaps that was due to lack of coordination, communication, or even some sort of dysfunction; it could even be due to lack of a relationship between those who felt called to serve as missionaries and those who were the sending partners in their own churches. Regardless, what can tend to happen is a further separation of missionaries from the churches from which they are sent. However, through all of this, the responsibility of the local church to send workers to the field has not be rescinded (some might argue that is the responsibility of the universal church but that universal church must be manifested as a local congregation to actually do something).
So, what can be done? Well, it seems best to help local churches rediscover what it means to be a sending church. That means that church leaders must first understand what it looks like to develop disciples who then are able to ascertain what God is calling them to do in service to Him (being always precedes doing). It could be that you have people within your church right now who have the character and competence to be sent and who may simply lack a vision for what being sent could look like. Even if you have people who desire to be sent, how does the church effectively send them? This must be much more than simply helping them find a sending agency that serves the geographic location or people group to whom the potential missionary desires to serve; there must be an ongoing support relationship that is much more than financial.
Some questions your church can use to help assess your current preparation to send workers are as follows:
- Is your church at the place where you are ready to send such people to the field (whether that is local or global)?
- Does your church culture foster continued relationships with such missionaries?
- What is your relationship with current missionaries your church supports financially?
- Do you understand the nature of their ministry such that you are serving them physically and in prayer?
- Would you consider yourselves true partners with missionaries whom you already support?
- What would they say about how your church partners with them in their ministry?
- Is their ministry considered by your church as an extension of the ministry of your local congregation?
We at ARM Ministries recognize the many challenges local congregations face when seeking different answers these and other questions. However, you may not know what to do next. This is where we want to help. You can read more about our mission, vision, and philosophy to support churches and missionaries well. Growing out of this desire to serve churches we provide assistance with:
- Strategic direction and vision for missions
- Strengthening relationships with existing missionaries
- Mobilizing members for ministry
- Creating a missions culture
In support of these goals we offer:
- Customized consulting
- Evaluation and development of missionary financial support
- Mobilization planning
Contact us today by email at firstname.lastname@example.org about how we might be able to help your church or ministry.
We realize that many churches that may desire assistance do not have significant financial resources to engage in a consultation. Our desire is to make this as reasonable as possible so that churches can direct more resources toward missions rather than just internally. If your church has limited resources please let us know; don’t let limited funding limit your opportunities for healthy development. If you desire to support our efforts to provide this kind of assistance to other churches we would gladly accept donations toward this effort.