Equipping

How Can MRN Help Your Church?

Missions Resource Network (MRN) represents a team of leaders who are committed to the church as God's instrument in accomplishing His mission in the world.  This team offers resources to equip missionaries, churches and disciple-makers in the development and execution of God's mission.  MRN also provides missionary care and collaborates with churches globally in equipping others to fulfill God's mission.

We have noticed two realities that churches face in their mission, both of which are greatly influenced by our ever-changing world.

Last year:

196

U.S. churches/leaders

205

International churches/leaders

 

First, churches send out missionaries that are facing a different world with new challenges, often without a clear understanding of expectations and strategy for both the church and the missionary. Church leaders need resources to help them understand the preparation that missionaries need to serve effectively and that they need to be faithful sending churches.

 

Second, the United States is now the third largest mission field. As American churches send missionaries throughout the world, they are also discovering a mission field in their back yard. When this happens, they realize that the gaps between their church culture and the culture of people within their community can be great and complex. As Christians seek to serve God cross-culturally in almost any community they discover the need for some of the same resources that families going to another nation will need to bridge the gap with the good news of Jesus Christ.


Missions Resource Network has responded to these realities by adapting our mission team training to be accessible to churches that are called to send and be sent -- to develop relationships with seekers across the street and around the world. They often ask: How do we identify or define our mission? Who leads this mission? How does the church organize itself to fulfill its mission? How do we make global missions the ministry of the whole church and not limit it to the concern of a few members who serve on a missions committee? What are the challenges and blessings in a long-term commitment to God’s mission?

How can your church be equipped to join God in His mission both locally and globally?


MRN serves churches in their mission ministry in three ways:

 

1) Re-Discovering God's Mission

A six-hour equipping session for mission leaders of a church provides an introductory interactive experience with a clear biblical foundation for mission, deeply rooted in the nature and mission of God. It will be a special time for mission leaders in your church to come together to evaluate your mission effectiveness or initiate action steps to strengthen this ministry in joining God to share the message of His grace and reveal His glory among the nations.

Church equipping sessions will focus on two aspects of congregational mission to determined priorities:

  • One priority will be to discover     To discern what God is doing through the church we ask: Why is this church in this community with these resources at this specific time? Where is God leading us? What is our mission?
  • A second priority will be     and/or other church leaders to determine where the church will commit to serve. We hear mission leaders ask questions like: Do we select the missionary or the mission field first? We want to do more in missions but do not know how to get started.  Where do we start? What are best practices? How do we get the congregation involved?

   

 

2) Special Equipping Modules Adapted to Specific Needs

Special needs arise in any mission ministry that require specific attention and resources.     This can be done through our team or through a network of partners in missions. These modules would involve two or three-hour interactive sessions in person or through video conferencing. Such modules include:

A.  Spiritual motivation for the mission of the church.

For churches who are new to missions or lost their zeal for missions. This module can address questions such as:

  • How do we persuade the church to be involved in missions?
  • What is the reason to commit so much money and resources to ethnic groups far away when the needs in our own neighborhood are increasing so dramatically?
  • How can we be good stewards of God’s resources?
  • What does God really want from this church?
  • How do leaders keep their focus when so much needs to be done in so many places through a host of different ministries?
     

B.  Developing, evaluating and executing a mission strategy

For churches/mission committees who want to transition from sending funds to many different mission points to a more focused ministry or for a church that has completed a mission and is in transition to a new one. This module can address questions such as:

  • We have been involved in missions for many years but only by sending checks—how do we evaluate what we are doing and develop a more focused strategy?
  • How do we develop our mission goals and policies?
  • We have supported a missionary for 15 years, but they are returning soon and we are looking for a new mission ministry—what is our next step?
     

C.  Involving the congregation in the mission of God

For churches with a good history of missions but have discovered that their interest in missions had been limited to the mission committee or a few leaders who have been actively involved. This module can address questions such as:

  • How does the missions committee improve its communication with the congregation?
  • How do we involve more members of this church in missions?
  • How do we increase our giving for missions?
     

D.  Building a healthy mission team

For churches who support a missionary on a team that is not functioning well. Also for churches where the preacher/ministry team does not consider the missionary a part of their team. This module can address questions such as:

  • How do we engage the preacher or ministry team in the mission of the church?
  • What can we do to help the missionary feel more a part of the ministry team of this church?
  • How can we help the missionary improve the team dynamics of his/her team?
  • We find tools like the    © Profile, the    © and    © to be very useful in responding to this need.
     

E.  Missionary Care

For churches who support a person or family that is in transition to or from another ethnic context, encountering a crisis or conflict, or need a healthy support group. This module can address questions such as:

  • How do we support the spiritual and emotional needs of our missionaries?
  • How can we provide counseling for our missionaries when they live so far away?
  • What can we do to prevent their pre-mature return?
  • How do we care for the children of our missionaries when they return?
  • How do we support the parents and extended families of our missionaries? 
  • How do we minister to missionaries going through culture-shock or reverse culture-shock?
  • How do we support our missionaries in transition to another mission point or reentry back home?
     

F.  Develop intercultural competency in a multicultural ministry

For church leaders who want to create and maintain healthy relationships within a church where diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds can challenge relationships or ministry. This module can address questions such as:

  • How do we shepherd the diverse members of this church?
  • How do we maximize the diversity of this congregation to reach our diverse community?
  • How do resolve conflict cross-culturally?
  • How can we improve our relationships with the Spanish speaking group within our congregation?
  • How do we prepare ourselves for short-term missions or visits with our missionary?
  • How do we prepare to adapt to and to communicate within another culture group? A helpful tool we use to respond to this need is the     (   ©).
     

G.  Interacting with Muslims

For churches that have an interest in responding to the open doors for relationships with Muslims in their own communities or globally, especially around the Mediterranean rim. This module can address questions such as:

  • How do we understand our Muslim neighbors?
  • What can we do to reach out to them? How do we respond to the refugee crisis in the Muslim world?

H.  Business as mission

For anyone who wants to use their professional skills and expertise to serve the mission of the church. This module can address questions such as:

  • How can we use our business expertise to connect the missionary with his community?
  • How can our company open doors for missionaries in difficult areas?
  • How do we build a mission strategy that promotes interdependency rather than dependency?
  • How can our missionary teams build resource sufficiency among disciples in a second or third world culture?
  • Do businesses just fund ministries and missionaries or can businesses also be a tool for making disciples?
  • How can our members who are gifted in business use those talents in a mission context?
     

I.  Responding to/exegeting our context

For church leaders who are trying to discern how to respond to a radical change in the demographics of their neighborhood and for leaders of “commuter churches” who want to serve their community. This module can address questions such as:

  • How do we understand the community we serve?
  • How do we decide if we should relocate or re-engage the community?
  • What can we do when the church culture has become so different from the culture of the community where we worship?
  • What would it take to transition from a monoethnic to a multi-ethnic church?
     

J.  Partners in mission

For churches that are too small to fully support a missionary but would like to partner with others to do so or for churches that have developed a mission for an area of their city or a region of the world but see the need to network with others to effectively serve. This module can address questions such as:

  • How do we network with churches who share a common interest in the world?
  • How do we develop a healthy working relationship?
  • How do we engage in disciple-making or get training in discovery Bible study?
 

3) Fulfilling God's Mission -- Coaching

We are not interested in simply providing resources that are not translated into faith-filled action steps that lead to God’s transforming power. Over the years, many churches and missionaries have benefited from coaching from the MRN team. They have joined a host of mission leaders to help develop their mission plan and then take the persistent steps of faith as disciples living out their mission. A coaching relationship with an MRN partner will empower and encourage the fulfillment of God’s mission through follow-up of special equipping modules (see above), regular communication, access to needed resources and the accountability provided in the coaching relationship.

People in churches around the world are hungry to join God in His mission. Some are discouraged. Some are fearful. Yet, all have access to the power of God. God’s kingdom is strong and churches are being called and challenged to join God in his kingdom mission. Missions Resource Network does not have all the answers nor do we claim to be experts. We simply want to share our resources with you as you seek to engage God and His mission for the waiting world in need of the good news of Christ. Contact us to investigate options for your church at www.MRNet.org or 1-888-641-2229.

Evertt W. Huffard, PhD

Facilitator for Church Equipping

evertt.huffard@MRNet.org
901-481-1878
1-888-641-2229 (toll-free)

Church Equipping Partner:

Missions Consulting International
For specialized missions consulting
Read more about our partnership together

Dr. Bob Waldron
bob@missionsconsulting.org
817-845-0286