As Mobilizers we need to be clear on our message – and make adjustments where necessary!
We are mobilizing for the active participation of all believers in the world Christian movement.
The world Christian movement, in its simplest form, as I see it, is “the whole Church involved in the presentation of the gospel of the Kingdom to all peoples and to all people.”
The above definition takes in both reached and least-reached people groups, transformation in and through those who respond (gospel of the Kingdom not just salvation) and the participation in the growth of Christ’s kingdom by all believers (the whole Church).
I think it is unfortunate that in today’s world Mobilizers are associated almost entirely with a least-reached peoples focus! We do the ‘neglected plight of the least-reached’ no harm by being more inclusive by focusing on the least-reached AND the continuing work of Christ’s Kingdom among the reached! In fact, I would suggest, we do a greater service to the least-reached by adopting a more inclusive agenda!
By focusing exclusively on the least-reached we ‘damage’ the unity of the Great Commission which includes ‘all nations’ (Mt 28:19-20) ‘every creature’ (Mk 16:15) and the ‘witness’ of the gospel to all nations (transformation Mt 24:14). Paul also makes no distinction. Paul sees God as reconciling the world to himself through the Church (2Co 5:18-20) – both reaching the least-reached and furthering gospel work among the reached is implied here! Paul himself had a ‘regions beyond’ focus (2Co 10:16) but got excited, when, for example, the testimony of the Church at Thessalonica was permeating the provinces of Macedonia and Achaia (1Thes 1:8).
We also inadvertently create departments with our more exclusive message. Local churches (where, I suppose, between 80% to 90% of all believers have an association), know missions as a departmentalized activity – assigned to a select few! Actually, all outreach is mission and all outreach is evangelism. We create a special class of workers and, in the minds of Christians, only these special workers can work cross-culturally! I may be exaggerating and then again I may not be!
In today’s context of the world Christian movement, where globalization is playing a huge part, we see the Church everywhere and we see the least-reached and the unsaved everywhere. Our mobilization message needs to embrace this new context.
If we did, I believe, we would be sounding a clearer trumpet call and would get a much better response. Rather than continuing to face this ‘up hill battle’ in mobilization we could begin seeing ‘the rough places being made smooth’.
The problem lies not with the Churches nor with church leaders but with Mobilizers/Prophets. We have muddied the waters, moved the target and have been sounding a trumpet call that has produced levels of confusion (“if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” 1Co 12: 8)
I think it is time we had some serious discussion on this issue!