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The Sending Pipeline Part 2: Moving Church Members from "New to Missions" to "Globally Aware"


As we get started in the sending pipeline we want to think about how we are moving members of our congregation from New to Missions to being Globally Aware. New to Missions can be defined as someone who is a fringe attender of your church or who is a committed member to your church but does not understand God’s heart for the nations. A Globally Aware member of your church is someone who has started to taste the realities of God’s heart for the nations and has some awareness that they need to be thinking about the world, not simply their workplace or neighborhood.


As we think through moving from New to Missions to Globally Aware there are some key questions a missions leader should wrestle with. These include:

  1. What are people seeing?

  2. What are people hearing?

  3. How key is your missions vision to your church leadership and to your vision?

1. What are people seeing?


By asking this question you are trying to find ways for people to see global missions regularly in the life of your church. Often this starts with what’s on the walls of your church: creative maps that display your focus areas around the world; prayer cards available in your offices or in the foyer; videos that highlight your global focuses; a website that helps explain your global vision and highlights in a secure way what you are doing in the world. Some of my favorite websites for a local church’s global missions strategy include:

You can also provide books and resources for your families to talk about global missions with their children like:

2. What are people hearing?


Sunday mornings are the most critical point of communication in the life of the church. It is the most regularly attended gathering and most comprehensively captures the people of the church. If missions theology, understanding, and vision is to be heard, it must be heard on Sunday mornings. Global missions, whether you do topical or exegetical teaching, is a topic that has to be covered once a year at minimum to help your people understand God’s heart for the world, as well as your church’s vision for missions.

"Sunday mornings are the most critical point of communication in the life of the church."

Beyond this, show videos highlighting missionaries or partnerships as often as your church can handle. Additionally, provide opportunities for your missionaries that are in the “Own” category to come and report to your church or to small groups.


3. How key is your missions vision to your church leadership and to your vision?


This may seem like an odd place to put this, but if your pastors, elders, and staff are not clearly informed and behind the vision of global missions, a global missions culture will never be created. I for one am not a gifted speaker...well, at least not for a 3,000 person church. My guess is that for many missions leaders this is the case as well. I am also not the lead pastor of our church. Nor am I super-human! In light of this, it is critical that our leadership and our main teachers in our church drip global missions passion and vision.


How do we make this happen? First of all, we give them a clear and simple vision for global missions. Lead pastors have so much on their plate, especially in large churches. They do not have time to create a global vision. But they do have the ability to help your vision go from 80% to 100% baked and then to articulate it clearly.


Leaders also need to go on short-term trips. I have found no better way to get global vision into the hearts of our leaders and teachers than to set apart global funds to regularly get elders and staff in our church overseas to visit our sent ones and missions partners. The vision for missions will flow out of their teaching if they experience life overseas and maintain regular communication with great partners.


These are just some of the ways that members of your church can go from being new to missions to globally aware. In the next article, we will talk about how to move them from being simply aware to being actual global Christians.


As you read this 6 part series, download the Sending Pipeline Template & an example from the Cornerstone Global Department.

 

Mike Easton is the International Program Manager for Reliant Mission. Prior to that Mike was the Missions Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, for eight years, where he got to experience the ins and outs of being a sending church. He served on staff with Cornerstone 2006 to 2022 in varying roles–from college ministry to pastoral staff to being an overseas missionary sent from Cornerstone for two years. Mike is the Director of Content for the Upstream Collective. Mike, his wife, Emily, and their four kids continue to live in Ames, IA, and serve at Cornerstone.

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