How can simple churches engage in God’s work outside of their oen cultural contexts? Felicity Dale at simplychurch.com has written about this very subject and in a recent post writes:
How are people in simple/organic churches currently actively engaging in cross-cultural missions?
- People move with their job. Because they already are familiar with simple church principles of mission (find a person of peace and start something around them), it is natural for them to make disciples and start churches in their new location.
- People go with a traditional denominational entity or other mission sending agency. They are supported financially in full or in part by their local simple/organic church or network of home churches. Again, they understand missional principles from their experience at home.
- People within organic church organize teams to go on short-term mission trips. This provides invaluable experience to those who have never had cross-cultural experience, particularly in third world countries.
- There are a number of us who go to other nations and train local people in disciple-making and simple church principles. These people then train and work with others. This is the most effective missions I have seen. If someone local spreads the Gospel, it is not seen as a foreign religion and the news about Jesus can spread rapidly and widely. (Obviously, the Holy Spirit is the one responsible.)
It seems to me that simple/organic church experience can actually be a great advantage to engaging in cross-cultural missions as it can serve to provide on-the-job training for disciple-making and church planting that translates to most any culture. It also seems important to note that cross-cultural mission is initiated and sought out by members of simple churches; or to put it another way, those in simple church will need to continually be watching for opportunities to join God in his work across the globe and willing to act when led by His Spirit. There is no need to wait for “the staff” to tell us where to go and how to serve because we are “the staff.” Just as we are trusting God to use us in reaching our physical neighbors we also can trust that God may desire to use us to reach our neighbors in other countries and cultures as well.
Personally, I feel called in take part in #4 above now within the sub-cultures that exist throughout our geographic region and prayerfully entirely different cultures across the globe someday. What about you?