Author: Patrick Hall
Category: Unreached People Groups
Less statistics and more transformation.
I fear the way we focus our evaluation of success in missions primarily on the Quantitative model of Unreached People groups seems to be motivationaly deceiving and spiritually limited in scope. Do you really think that my generation is going to find excitement and motivation for mission in numbers and concepts that were developed by those who interpreted things as so black and white?
I believe it is vital as we look at what missions will become in this/my generation that a greater weight be put upon Qualitative aspects in regards to our success towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission. I know that this is a much more important motivator to my generation than numbers and statistics. I was hoping that this post could lead into a discussion that might breed some ideas towards developing a type of Qualitative model for Mission. Note I am not looking to attack the old model or even say we need to get rid of it but I am suggesting that a new directional shift in focus should be considered.
Specifically what I would like to get at is how do we pursue a motivation strategy that is more geared towards combating the primary issues of Discipleship vs. Nominalism in what we view as missional success.
I realized my original post didn’t give a solid foundation for discussion. Here are some of the questions I think would be useful to talk about. Please feel free to post any questions of your own that you think we should be talking about as well.
Here are just a few questions that come to my mind when we begin to wrestle with our current strategic focus’ when it comes to the Great Commission.
a. What kind of disciples are we making? Christ-centered or Christ-pacified?
b. Is the message of 1 John 4:7-17 at the center of our call to discipleship? Have we communicated the importance of how our identity in Christ and commitment to Christ are not separate entities?
c. Are suffering, sacrifice, and servanthood at the forefront of the Kingdom message? Or do the leaders of the churches we are planting live in prestige, prosperity, and stagnancy?
d. Do holiness and righteous living play any role in how we currently measure our success? (eg. 1 John 4:6 and Exodus 19:6)
e. Do we actually expect not only our emotions but our actions to change as a result of salvation? (When I say this I mean it in the global sense even though obviously it’ll look a bit different in various cultural environments)
f. Have we allowed in many locations around the world a type of personally emotionally gratifying faith to spring up that isn’t rooted in living out the Lord’s justice and righteousness such as in Amos 4:23-24?
g. Are spiritual disciplines such as prayer, regular personal time with the Lord, training & discipling others, growing in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, considered vital in our salvific proclamation? Also do you think they should be incorporated in our measurements of success or not?