By Ryan Shaw
In the current series of articles, we are considering the six primary roles involved in the Great Commission. Every born-again believer, with the Holy Spirit living inside us, empowering us for His work, is called to at least one of these six roles.
It doesn’t matter one’s education, family status, money, past failures or sense of adequacy. Every believer has been redeemed to align with Jesus’ global heartbeat among all peoples and serve Him in their assigned role.
We have already considered the roles of (1) going as a message bearer (alternative term for missionary), (2) serving through global harvest intercession and (3) through extraordinary giving.
Today, we want to consider the crucial role of the mission mobilizer. The New Testament church was consistently pushing the boundaries of where the church had gone.
The early church in the book of Acts spread through mission. Mission is how the gospel has spread to each of our nations and to so many parts of the world.
While it is the nature of the church to be moving out with God in mission, it is rarely, if ever, natural and automatic that believers move into costly mission endeavor without the teaching, challenge, counsel, and encouragement of other followers of Jesus. (1)
Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2, “…the things you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also…” When believers deliberately inspire, instruct, mentor or equip fellow believers to become engaged and fruitful in Jesus’ mission, they are doing the work of mobilizing.
The work of mobilization is normal and essential—as important as disciplining or spiritual formation. Those who serve as mobilizers often see themselves contributing to the entire process of how believers and churches mature to be and do all that Christ is calling them to live, practice and accomplish. (2)
It is important to define terms as mobilization is often understood as recruiting and training cross-cultural workers. This is a valuable part yet we see mobilization in a broader way of enabling the body of Christ to align with Him in His mission purposes.
This role can either be done through the official capacity of a ministry role as a mobilizer or something one does in an unofficial capacity, unofficially mobilizing their circles of influence. Both are necessary and valid.
For the body of Christ to become what she is intended to become in the heart of God for mission, we need a great surge of both above capacities. We need more official mission mobilizers arising and taking up a ministry role serving in this way.
At the same time, we need a great surge of multitudes in churches and local ministries who are passionate about God’s heart for the nations, informally influencing those around them to understand and care about Jesus’ Great Commission.
So what is a mission mobilizer? They are an individual who sounds a rallying cry, working to see others in the body of Christ understanding, caring and becoming activated in their own roles in the Great Commission.
They have seen and become convinced that God’s global mission purpose, a key thread in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, is the primary purpose of the body of Christ between Jesus’ first and second coming. They then want to help others tap into this area of emphasis.
Mobilizers help others develop Great Commission vision. They are aware of the global dynamics of the mission movement and communicate these to Jesus’ body, helping awaken them to involvement.
Mobilizing others toward involvement in God’s global purpose is one of the most exciting and strategic activities in which to be involved. In fact, Ralph Winter, founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission (now Frontier Ventures), has said that mission mobilization is the most strategic role in the missionary movement as it keeps the mission purpose of the church before the church in a proactive way.
Mission mobilization is rarely discussed or taught, supposedly only done by those in “official” roles as mission mobilizers. This could not be farther from God’s heart and it sucks the life out of the widespread mobilization movement God intends in our midst.
All of us are capable of motivating and influencing our friends and peers in churches and campus ministries to order their lives around reaching unreached and unengaged people groups in our lifetime.
All we need is a biblical understanding of God’s heart for the nations, a passionate belief
in the utmost importance of every person in every people group being given the opportunity to respond to the gospel, and a willingness and commitment to spread this understanding, awareness, and vision to every believer we might meet.
There are many helpful tools available serving mission mobilizers in practically enabling others in local ministries to move with God in mission. The Perspectives (Perspectives.org) and Kairos (simplymobilizing.org) Courses are being used to open many people’s eyes.
GMMI has reproducible Great Commission Seminars for local churches and campus ministries and IGNITE Training Courses, empowering leaders of ministries to know how to mobilize and equip their own local ministries.
Do you have a passion for Jesus’ Great Commission and yet sense you are not meant to go as a message bearer? It could be God wants to raise you up as a mission mobilizer, acting as His voice in “preparing the way of the Lord.”
(1) Steve Hawthorne, self-published article, “Mobilizing God’s People For God’s Mission.” May 8, 2015