Most churches have a champion of missions—a missions pastor, a director of missions, a lay leader. Every church needs one of these people to help steer the ship of missions for the church. However, the church needs more than a captain; it needs a crew as well. This is where the value of a mobilization team arises.
The church needs more than a captain; it needs a crew as well.
A mobilization team differs from a missions leadership team. The focus of a missions leadership team is to help the missions leader gain buy-in on major decisions. A mobilization team, however, focuses on strengthening the mobilization efforts among different segments within the church. They are deployed to kids, students, young adults, and adults. They each focus on a specific “people group” within the church. They work with the ministry leaders to develop mobilization ideas for their ministries. At our church, we currently have nine members on our team, and their ages range from twenty-four to seventy.
A mobilization team acts similar to the “capable men from all Israel” Moses chose in Exodus 18:25 to serve as “leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.” The people of Israel were bringing so many issues to Moses that he could not handle them all on his own. His father-in-law, Jethro, suggested he choose leaders to help him deal with the smaller problems. If an issue was too much for them to handle, they could bring it to Moses. This way, Moses would not have to face every problem alone. Moses accepted this idea, appointed men, and made them leaders. This decision helped Moses be a more effective leader for the nation of Israel.
Missions Pastor, a mobilization team can do the same for you.
Here are a few reasons why your church should develop a mobilization team.
The mobilization team is a great place to help cultivate and empower leaders. Most of the members of my team were already heavily involved in missions. Forming this team gave me a chance to recognize them as leaders. It emboldened them to go further and farther than we have in missions. Some of these teammates are on their way to the mission field. Some are beginning to consider it. This is a great place to develop leaders, ministers, missionaries, and Christians running after the Great Commission.
Divide and Conquer
Missions can be one of the hardest ministries to recruit people for. You need to tap into the leadership of others. They can divide and conquer. In a church averaging 1,500 attendees each weekend, I cannot converse with every single person, and I cannot reach them on my own. Through the mobilization team, we have been able to get many people involved in missions with whom I had no prior connection. The team also helps me continue the work in certain areas if I am away or have to work on other projects. They help you do more than one thing at a time. My job involves focusing on prayer, local internationals, mission trips, missions awareness, sending, and content creation. I cannot do all of this on my own.
Surround yourself with people who can be in the trenches with you, building you up to keep fighting the good fight of making Christ known among the nations.
As a missions leader, you can make some puzzling decisions if you do not have anyone else to share your mobilization ideas with. A mobilization team gives you a focus group to help you assess your ideas. They also are idea generators. They may think of something you never would have thought of yourself. For example, one person on our team suggested recruiting life groups to lead our Prayer for the Nations gathering. It was a great way to incorporate people who may not typically attend an event like this or regularly think about missions.
Missions leaders can feel alone at times. They can feel as though they are always fighting against the wind. It is nice to have people around you encouraging you to persevere and keep going. Surround yourself with people who can be in the trenches with you, building you up to keep fighting the good fight of making Christ known among the nations. Your mobilization team can be your greatest champions in the good times and uplift your spirit in the challenging times.
You Can’t Do It Alone, and You Don’t Have To
Missions leader, you cannot do it alone, and the good news is that you don’t have to. Create a mobilization team. It does not have to be elaborate. They can help you with straightforward tasks: awareness, reaching people, and recruiting small groups to participate. They will also help you with your influence among the entire church, reaching those you could never reach on your own. Expand your leadership to expand your effectiveness. Form a team to help you lead the church to love the nations. Build up people to help them build others up. Be like Moses and choose leaders to help you mobilize God’s people and persevere with the “task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).
Christian Townson serves as the Director of Missions and Mobilization at The Journey Church in Lebanon, Tennessee. He and his wife, Danyel, help Christians pursue obedience to the Great Commission.