The church as a missionary

We have been refining our church’s global persepctive for some time now. We have increasingly become aware of our church’s personal responsibility to tackle the lostness of the world and that motivation has been reshaping our thinking. Along these lines I’m very excited to share about an upcoming meeting that I’ll be attending and I would invite you to consider being with us. Marty Duren and Alan Cross have put together an upcoming dialogue about churches networking together to do mission work. This network concept is exciting to me because it will allow our church the freedom to continue to work within the partnership framework of the IMB, which we are committed to doing, while also taking on a more aggressive, personal role in the work of reaching the world with the Gospel. 

If you are interested in helping your church engage the world personally, instead of simply relegating that responsibility to others, I would highly recommend that you consider joining us for these meetings in January. 

I’ve copied the information that Marty and Alan have provided and it’s below for you to consider. 

The Church as Missionary:  A Global Networking  Dialogue
January 12, 13, 2009-St. Louis, MO
The world is changing. Actually, it has already changed several times over in the past decade or two.  Technology and globalization are creating quantum change instead of the linear progression of generations past. But, when it comes to the local church and mission, things plod along as they have for decades. Many churches still primarily engage in mission through sending their dollars off to a denominational agency or parachurch ministry while their own people remain passive in the task that God has given them. With the world nearing 7 billion people, the rise of the indigenous Church of the global South, and America emerging as one of the greatest mission fields in the world, we believe that the local church has a more vital role to play now than ever before in proclaiming and living out the gospel, both globally and locally. It seems, though, that few churches really step into the purpose of God in this area.  What if local churches networked together to pray and find out where God was working, share opportunities and best practices, and encourage one another along in their God-given task? What if the Church became the missionary, instead of farming out our calling to others? What if we partnered together to directly engage in global missions and domestic church planting?
Some of us believe that this is possible. We believe that God is igniting the local church to step to the forefront of His work in the world.  Each local church has gifts, talents, vision, and people who are already engaged in the world around them. Each Christian and church has a God-given purpose to fulfill. What if a network formed that encouraged each participating church in the task of impacting the world globally and locally by maximizing what is already happening the lives of the people in our churches? If churches in the network partnered together to share vision, people, and resources to impact lostness, couldn’t we do far more together as the engaged people of God to transform the world, than we could separately? We’d love to join with some other folks who are thinking about the same things.
On January 12-13 in St. Louis, MO, a group of pastors, leaders, and thinkers, will come together to engage in guided discussion regarding the possibility of networking to specifically engage in global and local mission by putting the local church on the forefront of the task God has given us: discipling nations. Some of us are Southern Baptists. We have our own missions agencies and cooperative giving program. This is not meant to take away from that, but we recognize that just sending money to denominational agencies and passively waiting for them to initiate work will do little to fulfill the Great Commission. Local churches must be engaged in the task in a more direct way.  We’re thinking that we would be more effective at that if we partnered with others.
We are specifically inviting you to join a few dozen leaders to engage with this concept and see if God is wanting to link some folks together to help one another become more effective. This is not about starting an organization or collecting money-the last thing we need is more bureaucracy. If this goes well, the local church will be at the forefront and the network will exist in the shadows. We don’t have a name for what we are wanting to do. We might just call it, “that missional thing.” But, we believe that God is up to something and if we can help one another engage the world more effectively, then we will have accomplished our task.

This is not a standard conference or seminar where a lineup of speakers download terabytes of information to process later.  Discussion initiators will be brief and on point leading to dialogues directly related to network building.  Real value will be added to your ministry objectives and church mission as a result of your participation.

If this resonates with your heart, plan to be in St. Louis so that together we can help one another move our churches to the front line of Kingdom work in this world!  
Dorsett Village Church
2240 Bennington Place
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

First Dialogue- Power and Purpose of Networked Churches – Monday Night (6:00-8:30 pm)

Second Dialogue- Church as Missionary: Planning and Practice in Networked Churches – Tuesday Morning (9:00-11:30 am)

Third Dialogue- To the Ends of the Earth With Networked Churches – Tuesday Afternoon (1:00-3:30 pm)

Recommended Reading:

    * Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World by Bob Roberts, Jr.
    * The Starfish and the Spider:  The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom

Hotel Accommodations:
Hampton Inn St. Louis/Westwood
2454 Old Dorsett Road
Maryland Heights, MO
*Ask for The Church as Missionary Conference Rate*  

Rate is $99/rm/night (until Jan 5th) for king and double rooms.  Free shuttle from airport if needed.
Contact Information:
Marty Duren- 770.945.7602
Alan Cross- 334-272-9494

Conference Reservations:

Meeting space is limited, so register as quickly as you can.  Please mail a check or money order for $30.00 (payable to NBBC) to:

New Bethany Baptist Church
The Church as Missionary Conference
6302 Holiday Road
Buford, GA 30518

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

7 thoughts on “The church as a missionary

  1. While I won’t be able to attend, this is a great idea that I would encourage all your readers to seriously consider. As things begin to take some kind of shape, we would invite you to keep us in mind as a possibility for future networking efforts in Ecuador. If you’d like I can resend you a 2-page copy of how we hope to partner with Stateside churches/groups as we seek to win our province to Christ.

  2. Let me know how I can help and possibility attend. As you know, we are already doing this in major ways but want to learn more…and it would be great to dialogue

  3. Guy- I’m very excited about the possibilities this dialogue might offer. I’ll be sure to keep you guys in mind as we connect with various churches.

    Ben- I would offer that you would be an ideal person to attend. This will be a tremendous time for networking as well as brainstorming and will take churches interested but not yet involved, as well as churches who are strongly engaged at the present time.

  4. I made this offer on SBC Impact and I offer here: The Daly’s live about 30 min from the conference site so anyone in the mood for a fireplace, home cookin’, and has a desire to save on hotel costs, are welcome to hang with us.

  5. I’m not sure how I found this page, but I did. It great to see churches getting excited about missions. As a missionary with the IMB, though I would like to give a little input. As IMB we don’t want to just do missions for the SBC, but partner with churches who are missionally minded. I would encourage you at looking into partnering with an IMB mission team in a specific city and see how your church can make a impact. We love the financial support from the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program. We also love the support from churches sending volunteer teams, getting to know the people, gaining their trust, sharing truth, and helping plant churches.

    Here is a video that may be of further inspiration:

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