3 Questions Every Church Leader Must Ask

Pastors and lay leaders alike should know how to partner with missions agencies.

From Message magazine issue "All Things to All Men"

There is a growing pressure for churches to turn to the world’s experts to accomplish God’s work.

While we must recognize that Scripture is sufficient to equip the people of God (2 Tim. 3:17; 2 Peter 1:3), that doesn’t mean every local church is an island. The church’s mission is too big to accomplish alone. Consider three ways pastors and church leaders can challenge themselves and their congregation to engage in God’s work.

1. How can we help believers overseas?

“My church is too small to send.” Many church leaders repeat this, although in reality sending capacity has little to do with size. But even those churches that feel legitimately impeded by small membership and meager budgets can still make a difference.

Traditional Western missionaries can sometimes be expensive and inefficient. But any church can support national missionaries who are already doing difficult work in difficult places. Live Global helps North American churches cultivate partnerships with ministries led by existing churches and believers in least-reached places. Partnership doesn’t just bless nationals—it blesses the church here too and can be a vital step along the way to sending our own.

2. How can we better reach our own community?

Healthy missions abroad depend on strong sending churches at home. But most churches in the U.S. are dying, and less than 4 percent are reproducing themselves—due in no small part to the absence of godly, resilient, entrepreneurial church planters willing to take risks. And when many churches do find such men, they’re tempted to keep them at all costs.

EveryEthne, ABWE’s North America ministry, empowers church planters with leadership coaching, soul care, and financial support to multiply missions-minded churches. EveryEthne also trains existing churches to reach their own backyards, drawing on ABWE’s 93 years of missionary experience to help ordinary believers cross cultures without crossing borders.

3. Are our church members equipped to share their faith?

It’s increasingly uncommon for churches to train congregants in biblical evangelism. Good Soil arms church members with more than a canned gospel sales pitch. Instead, it trains believers to show their unbelieving friends and neighbors how the whole Bible points to Christ from Genesis to Revelation, all in the context of a loving relationship.

All of our churches—just like us—can be more intentional about the Great Commission. And organizations like ABWE exist not to build our own name, but to build the kingdom—starting with the ordinary church down the street.

Editor’s Note: Check out another ABWE resource, SendOne, which encourages North American churches to fulfill the Great Commission by sending just one missionary to an unreached people group.