I just finished listening to an interview with pastor David Horner on the Missio Nexus network about his book “When Missions Shapes the Mission: You and Your Church Can Reach the World.” Horner based this book on a statistical survey in which 100 Southern Baptist Churches participated.
What caught my attention were the ten best practices of effective mission churches which Horner described. These ten best practices are grouped under three categories:
- Catching the Vision (Practices 1-4)
- Thinking and Acting Strategically (Practices 5-8)
- Missions with Staying Power (Practices 9-10)
Here are the ten best practices:
- Make sure that someone in the congregation is in charge of providing leadership for missions, be it the pastor, missions committee or a missions pastor.
- Equip, Inform and Inspire with missions information. It is common for churches to have an annual or bi-annual missions conference.
- Make Missions visible from the pulpit – a big challenge for pastors.
- On the job training: Give a high priority of sending people on short term trips, praying that a tithe will become long term workers.
- Priority in establishing partnerships with indigenous leaders.
- Identify and assess candidates and match candidates with appropriate opportunities.
- Adopt a people group. Nothing focuses prayer and action like having a specific target!
- Have a way to plant churches where none exist. Don’t just sent people on short term trips. Have a strategy to actually establish disciple making churches where none exist.
- Have personal relationships with workers on the field. This will involve communication, prayer, visits and much, much more.
- Cultivate a generous giving community.
In my opinion, these seem like excellent “best practices”. Which are practiced by your church? What ideas do these ten best practices spark in your mind? Are there any best practices here that could be implemented in your context? What might be one or two action steps?
David Horner’s book, “When Missions Shapes the Mission: You and Your Church Can Reach the World,” can be purchased on Amazon.