by A. Scott Moreau and Mike O’Rear
Mission agencies have discovered the Internet. In fact, many mobilization departments see the Web as their most effective recruitment venue.
Mission agencies have discovered the Internet. In fact, many mobilization departments see the Web as their most effective recruitment venue. Agencies and specialized mobilization ministries use the Web to build missions interest and awareness, share information, provide free resources, sell materials, develop online discussion communities, match applicants with service opportunities and handle conference registrations.
Missions mobilization is a broad topic, and we had difficulty restricting the length of this edition of Mission on the Web. There are already MisLinks pages devoted to such related topics as missions fund-raising, short-term missions and missions training programs. Browse them for further links and information.
Leading Missions Mobilization Organizations
Caleb Project “offers a wide array of tools and services that connect individuals, churches and other ministries to God’s work among unreached peoples.” For many of us, this is the first place we go for great missions mobilization resources. These include videos, prayer guides, calendars, books, ethnographic reports, short-term mission trips, missions speakers, training workbooks and seminars, and online discussion groups. Their site also offers a wonderful set of mobilization resources for kids: books, calendars, videos, prayer cards, skits, globes and curriculum materials.
ACMC (Advancing Churches in Missions Commitment) is focused on serving local churches; their vision is “to be used of God to see every church on planet earth actively engaged in declaring God’s glory among the nations.” Each year they host a national conference, as well as a number of regional conferences around the US; you can learn about the conferences and register online. Their site also has a page listing their “Top 100 Resources”—a great place to start if you are looking for recommendations for the best in missions mobilization resources. (There is an 800 number you can call to order; we only wish you could order their resources online at the ACMC site.)
AIMS (Accelerating International Mission Strategies1) is dedicated to “challenging the church to take the gospel where it’s never been proclaimed.” They offer no less than seven different seminars designed to mobilize the Church, “helping them realize their role in the Great Commission;” you can read about each of these on their site. Their online store offers missions books, CDs, videos and other materials.
The Finishers Project focuses on serving Christians in mid-life. A partnership of dozens of mission agencies, Finishers provides information and a well-developed process for discovering ministry opportunities in world missions — short-term, part-time, or as a second-career. Their site offers a step-by-step process called the Personal Gift Assessment to help people discover where and how they best fit into missions; Mission: Exploration, a small-group video curriculum featuring John Piper; information on finding Finisher Forum conferences—an Urbana-type event, in various cities, aimed at Christians in mid-life—held in various locations; online ordering of videos and cassettes from past Finisher Forum conferences; and a listing of recommended books and other resources. The popular Halftime provides a similar ministry to mid-life professionals, though not focused primarily on world missions.
The US Center for World Mission has inspired, launched and supported innumerable missions mobilization efforts during the past few decades. With its slogan, “Calling the Church to Reach All of the Unreached Peoples,” the Mobilization Division “works to assist Christians, churches, pastors, and church mission committees to help the global church of Christ participate intelligently in completing the missionary task. It does this by working with missionaries and mission organizations to create strategic communication tools, resources, programs and structures.” Their Web site has links to many excellent mobilization resources, including their world-renowned “Perspectives” study program and “Vision for the Nations” video curriculum (both described later in this article).
The Student Mobilization site is focused on mobilizing college students for missions. The site gives you direct access to the 2,800 unreached peoples prayer profiles prepared by Bethany World Prayer Center a few years ago. They also have a good online store, connected to Amazon.com. They offer a seven-week “Intensive Training” summer project. Another ministry of Student Mobilization is The Traveling Team, which exists “to glorify God by educating and equipping college students to become World Christians who fulfill their responsibility in World Evangelization.” Modeled after the Student Volunteer Movement of the 1800s, these groups of students travel from campus to campus mobilizing college students for missions; to date, they have held over 450 campus meetings. Learn about their travel schedule on the Web site.
Mission ONE (Overseas National Evangelism) is dedicated to “mobilizing the Church for partnership with national missionaries, focusing on unreached people groups, and serving the poor and oppressed.” At the Web site you can read about their Operation WorldView seminar (a multimedia, mini-version of the Perspectives course) and ONE Woman ministry (“helping women worldwide explore their destiny in God’s Story”), as well as download Bible studies, missions articles and other resources to connect the local church with national missionaries overseas.
MISSIONS MOBILIZATION RESOURCES
In addition to the organizations mentioned above, other ministries also provide excellent missions mobilization resources.
The RightNow Campaign “encourages and guides young adults towards adventurous, life-changing opportunities to make a difference in the world.” The campaign is seeking to enlist five thousand young adults to commit their talents and passions to share Christ’s love in over fifty countries. Their site offers a searchable database of over 2,400 missions opportunities, as well as great commentary, online articles, and videos.
The AD2000 & Beyond Movement (now officially closed) still provides excellent resources via their Web site. For example, their Video List has information on hundreds of videos dealing with mission to unreached peoples; they are cataloged by people group name, country name and video title. Each entry has summary information about the video, such as year produced, format, length, countries and people groups filmed, and contact information for acquiring the video.
Professor Howard Culbertson of Southern Nazarene University has assembled a great set of missions mobilization resources on his Web site, including brief reviews of over 150 missions videos and movies.
Speaking of videos, the Missions Mobilization Videos page of the World Christian Video Directory has brief descriptions of short mobilization productions from a variety of organizations.
At the William Carey Library site, you can browse and search for hundreds of missions-related titles, from over seventy-five publishers, all at discount prices. Read descriptions of each book, see a color photo of the book cover and order online.
If you’re looking to do a bit of missions theatre, try the Missions Script Index at the DramaShare site. They are dedicated to providing royalty-free Christian drama theatre resources, including full scripts of dozens of great missions dramas. For unlimited use, you can pay an annual membership fee of $43, or simply order individual scripts as needed.
Mission sending agencies Operation Mobilization and Youth With A Mission have a long history of producing and providing innovative missions mobilization resources and services for a wide spectrum of audiences. For instance, check out the Resources page of OM’s US office (www.usa.om.org/resources.htm), where they offer excellent books, videos, CD-ROMs, and songbooks. Likewise, the YWAM site links to missions arts and drama, resources for short-term missions trips, a prayer diary, WorldChristian News (“a missions digest of news, trends and statistics affecting the Body of Christ worldwide”), and the exhaustive WorldChristian Books site where you can browse or search for nine hundred titles. Also see the Student Mobilization Centre, a ministry of YWAM’s University of the Nations, whose purpose is “to serve student organizations, mission agencies and local churches by helping ignite a new international, broad-structured, and inclusive student mobilization movement like that of the Student Volunteer Movement.”
In addition to the above, don’t overlook the Web sites of the specific mission sending agency and/or denomination with which you may be associated. These sites often provide excellent mobilization materials, as well as resources for missions conferences and profiles of available missions speakers.
SEMINARS, CONFERENCES AND EVENTS
Most of the ministries mentioned above in the first section of this article offer one or more excellent seminars, conferences or other significant mobilization events. We encourage you to browse their Web sites to learn about the events they offer. In addition, there are other outstanding mobilization events that we would like to briefly mention.
Nothing says “missions mobilization” like Urbana. InterVarsity’s triennial Urbana conference, coming up this December, is the patriarchal US missions mobilization event for college-age youth. Their Web site, however, is more than simply conference promotion and registration; it offers a rich array of personal testimonies, “tools to help you think critically about the world,” a database of service opportunities, discussion groups, and links to hundreds of other mobilization resources.
Antioch Network is dedicated to “empowering churches to reach the nations.” They host numerous events throughout the year, including the Unhindered conference, “designed for the emerging leader by emerging leaders.”
The US Center for World Mission’s Perspectives Study Program is a fifteen-week discipleship course “where you’ll discover what God is doing around the world and consider your part in His purposes.” Since it began in 1974, Perspectives has been taken by more than sixty thousand people—it can be taken for college credit—and is endorsed by many mission agencies; some 150 Perspectives classes are offered each year across North America. On their Web site, you can read about the study program, and “find a class near you.”
Vision For The Nations is an excellent video series developed by the US Center for World Mission. This thirteen-week curriculum designed for Sunday School and Bible Study settings, introduces missions from four perspectives: biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic. In addition to the videos, there is a leader’s guide and 256-page reader.
Day of Discovery is a one-day seminar by Body Builders, “designed to help Christians discover what God is doing in the world, why He wants you to participate and what is now needed to reach the nations.” It includes four eighty-minute multimedia presentations. On their Web site, you can read about the seminar, and schedule it for your church.
At the Unveiling Glory Web site, “home of ‘cat & dog’ theology!”, learn about the Unveiling God’s Glory seminar (five one-hour lectures for adults) and the related “Thread of Glory” seminar (for kids), and book a seminar in your church. “Unveiling-GLORY offers a fast-action, hard-hitting, humorous seminar that will point your church in a fresh way to the glory of God….helping Christians see God’s heart for all nations from Genesis to Revelation.”
World Thrust is “an international ministry serving as a catalyst to help pastors and church leaders mobilize the local church toward a more effective, personal involvement in taking the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world.” They offer a Winning Strategies Seminar for pastors and a Focus on the World Weekend for church leaders.
JOURNALS, NEWSLETTERS AND ONLINE DISCUSSIONS
Brigada Today is a great little e-mail newsletter from Doug Lucas, head of Team Expansion. At the Web site, you can sign up for the free weekly newsletter and browse through the hundreds of back issues.
Caleb Project offers two Mission Mobilizers E-Zines “designed to send you about two messages per week to encourage, equip, and network you in mission mobilization ministry.”
Brigada-Orgs-MissionMobilizers is “an electronic forum where anyone interested in mobilizing Christians to complete world evangelization can exchange questions & answers, testimonies, resources, news, needs, and addresses having to do with world mission.” A full archive of the Brigada-Orgs-MissionMobilizers e-mail conference from March 1995 through June 1998 is also available in the Mission Mobilizer’s Database (www.caleb project.org/bomm/dbindex.htm).
The other E-Zine, Brigada-Orgs-Mission Mobilizers-Newsbrief, is “an electronic forum where Christians can exchange news having to do with world mission.” These were originally Brigada e-mail discussion groups, beginning in 1995; today there are “over two thousand mission mobilizers in ninety countries subscribed!” You can subscribe to one or both at.
My Global Impact, a new Web-based ministry led by Caleb Project’s John Hanna, harnesses the Internet to build a dynamic discussion community of students (and others) committed to missions. Their goal is “to form small groups of peers in similar life circumstances, with similar missions interests, and with fledgling missions commitment in order to help one another stick with their commitments, overcome life obstacles, and find their place of strategic deployment.” Here you can “chat, discuss, read interesting articles, take a poll, voice your opinions, and more!” The site is engineered to create small groups (two to seven people) and “deliberately helps people find others like them.”
Mission Frontiers is the US Center for World Mission’s regular bulletin, “dedicated to a church for every people.” You can subscribe online to the hardcopy version and download the current version via PDF files; back issues can also be read on their Web site.
The Global Prayer Digest is the daily devotional booklet produced by the US Center for World Mission and centers on prayer for unreached peoples. “Condensed missionary stories, biblical challenges, urgent reports, and exciting descriptions of unreached peoples provide a digest of rich fuel for your own times of prayer for the world.” At the Web site you can subscribe to the prayer guide, as well as view the devotional reading for today.
Another option to spur daily prayer for missions is the online version of Operation World, the global prayer guide by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk. Each day’s prayer requests are presented—one day at a time—on the Web site.
Mission Network News Online is “a missions news service dedicated to keeping Christians informed on evangelical mission activity around the world.” Read, and listen to, the day’s missions news at their Web site; search their news archives by date or keyword; and find a radio station near you that airs the week-day Mission Network News program.
The Antioch Network produces The Antioch Times, a helpful e-mail newsletter. At their Web site you can read recent editions of this quarterly newsletter, and register your e-mail address to receive a free subscription.
Retirement With A Purpose is an online magazine, with Campus Crusade for Christ roots, ministering to retirees. It “provides resources and opportunities to help communicate the message of God’s love and forgiveness throughout the world.”
And finally, don’t overlook Evangelical Missions Quarterly for insightful articles on mobilization. For instance, the July 1998 issue (Vol. 34, No. 3) carries an excellent article, written by David Dougherty (OMF International) entitled, “What’s Happening to Missions Mobilization?” The article addresses two major streams of missions action: “missions as process” and “missions as project” (available in the EMQ archives for EMQ online subscribers.
As usual, there are far more Web resources than we have room to discuss in the space allotted. Be sure to check out the Mobilization page on MisLinks. And don’t hesitate to recommend additions to MisLinks using the link provided on our site.
1. Also known as the Association of International Mission Strategies
2. Also MissionsFest, Mission Fest and Missions Enfete.
Scott Moreau is editor of EMQ and chair of Missions and Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, Ill.). His e-mail address is A.S.Moreau@wheaton.edu, and the Wheaton Missions Department Web address is: www.wheaton.edu/missions
Mike O’Rear is the president of Global Mapping International (Colorado Springs, Colo.), which is dedicated to providing access to information for church and mission leaders, especially in the Two-thirds world. He also serves as Lausanne senior associate for information technology. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the GMI Web address is: www.gmi.org/
EMQ, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 508-514. Copyright © 2003 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.