During this blog post series, I am trying to help you assess your church by providing ten questions to evaluate your church’s approach to each of the purposes of the church: worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, prayer, and fellowship. In addition, I ask about your church’s biblical foundation and Great Commission commitment. Today’s questions focus on your church’s commitment to reach the globe – including North America.
- Is your church connected directly with missionaries? That is, do your folks know missionaries by name? Do you have partnerships with folks serving among the unreached or underserved areas? Names, faces, and stories of missionaries can direct us to the world.
- Do your church leaders have a heart for the nations? I have not yet encountered a missions-minded church without a pastor who has taken them in that direction. If you want to know if your leaders “bleed” the Great Commission, listen to their preaching and their prayers. You’ll learn something about their heart.
- Does your church intentionally and corporately pray for missionaries? I fear that we pray for missionaries the way we pray for so many other things: we begin praying only after we hear of a need. If your church starts interceding only after you learn of things like disaster or persecution, you’re late in stepping up to the plate.
- When was the last time your church did a corporate study on missions work? If we limit those studies to only those groups that are already interested in missions, we miss the opportunity to teach the Great Commission to the entire church. Find your most passionate missions-minded teacher, and study God’s work around the world together.
- What percentage of members did you send to do short-term or long-term mission work last year? More than one person has noted that churches should evaluate their work not on their seating capacity but on their sending capacity; if so, is your church a sending church? How many folks did you send to North America and the world last year?
- Does your church budget reflect a commitment to missions? Show me a church’s budget, and I can usually tell you something about their priorities. If you have to explain to me where missions is buried in the budget (even if the percentage is high), you’ll probably have to explain it to your members as well. Show your commitment clearly.
- Does your congregation have an Acts 1:8 strategy to reach your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth? Healthy global churches know their local community, their region, their continent, and the nations. They have made intentional commitments to touch the world with the gospel – and their members can describe that commitment.
- Is your church a reproducing church? That is, do you have plans to plant new churches? Church-planting churches tend to be the most outwardly focused congregations.
- If God calls your finest members to somewhere in North America or the world for the sake of the gospel, would you willingly and excitedly commission them? Congregations and leaders that cling to their best are seldom Great Commission churches. Those that celebrate and send, though, find that God blesses their willingness.
- If God calls you and your family to go, would you be willing to go? If not, it will be hard to lead your church to be a global church. The strongest Great Commission churches I know are led by pastors who would go to the nations tomorrow if the Lord would allow.
Suppose you were to score each question on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being "I'm very displeased with where my church is" and 10 being "I'm very pleased with where my church is"), what would your score be? What other questions would you add to this list?