On Saturday October 7th, Antioch Church in Louisville, KY will host a one-day Missional Skills Training event. Pastors and Upstream leaders Larry McCrary and Zach Bradley will empower attendees to think and act like missionaries in their own contexts, and to learn how to include missionary skills in the basic discipleship of every Christian.
Equipping every Christian to think an act like a missionary was the original idea behind the book Tradecraft: For the Church on Mission. Besides learning about the 9 basic missionary skills from Tradecraft, attendees will each receive a copy of Upstream's new Tradecraft Workbook, a 300+ page guide for practicing missionary skills as a group or individual.
Here are five different types of people we think this event will be especially useful to:
A Church Planter or Core Team Member. Uprooting yourself and moving to a new city to start a church is a daunting task. It can be difficult to know where to begin trying to familiarize yourself with a new area, but you can learn good methods for getting a feel for your neighborhood from the first day you arrive.
Come and not only learn about the Tradecraft skill of mapping, but actually practice alongside others and put this vital skill into action. You will learn to recognize where neighborhoods begin and end, significant social gathering spots, places of worship, paths people travel along, and how to view them all through spiritual eyes. You will also learn how to record this information for later use and to easily share it with others.
A Prospective Missionary. The best missionaries are the ones who consistently take the posture of a learner. The principle holds true that we are the same person when we get off the plane as when we get on. Don’t wait until you get to a mission field to start learning how to engage culture. Come and learn how to take your knowledge of the good news and think through how to communicate it in an understandable way to those of differing backgrounds.
The Tradecraft skill of contextualization is vital to clearly apply our universal message to our hearers’ ears. Contextualization is indeed a skill, and it requires that we think outside our native culture—which is not always intuitive! Consider this challenge with us, and help build guardrails for yourself to avoid syncretism.
A Pastor. It can be easy to make the mistake of thinking we know a place and people because it’s familiar to us. It may be that we are only reaching a subset of the culture because we have forgotten to make space for the many subcultures around us. This will be a great opportunity to intentionally reexamine your city and neighborhood with a fresh set of eyes.
When we talk about the Tradecraft skill of engaging tribes, we don’t mean headhunters living in the jungle. We are thinking of the natural breakdown between subcultures, subgroups, and cliques. Come ready to think about how social differences can be advantageous in mission. We want to follow Jesus’ lead in incarnational discipleship.
A Seminary Student. Don’t wait to get every single theological duck in a row before you start putting your education to work. Especially if you are considering cross-cultural ministry, you will want as much practical experience as possible.
Good ministers have developed the Tradecraft skill of building relationships, and they leverage their ability to get to know others personally, even as they encourage others to get to know a personal God. Come think through how to take an interest in others as God’s image bearers and what it means to love our neighbors well. God will use our words of truth as we rub shoulders with our neighbors, revealing our real selves and allowing our lights to shine.
A Christian. Do you have a desire to reach the nations all around you, but you’re not sure how to approach the task? You don’t have to live overseas for several years to learn how to think and act like a missionary. All of these Tradecraft skills were written down with you in mind, and now they are even more readily available to learn. Come receive the newly released, Tradecraft Workbook, and benefit from this tangible guide to keep putting what you learn into practice.
The New Testament sees all Christians as those who are being equipped for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12), and the Spirit uses everyday believers to spread God’s Kingdom. Come discover the gifts you were given for building up others in the faith and reaching your community. Learn how God wants you to use even your marketplace vocation to make disciples in your everyday life.
Photo Credit: Flickr