Over the past few decades, considerable global momentum has been building related to the Great Commission. Networks, strategies, partnerships and niche ministries have been raised up to focus on speciﬁc needs.
More believers around the world are being activated in cross-cultural ministry than ever before. We praise the Lord for these exciting trends. However, for them to reach their potential, a deeper level of spirituality is needed.
The often-shallow state of the global church’s spiritual life results in an inability to overcome challenges, a misinterpretation of events and a tendency to inadvertently malign the testimony of Christ.
Most people have good intentions in serving God in the nations, but over time those intentions prove inadequate. Is it good enough to have the latest strategy or technique? Or do we need more to fuel and sustain the work of cross-cultural mission?
God calls his people to mission. But the demands of cross-cultural ministry among the unreached/ unengaged can be overwhelming and draining, leading to discouragement and burnout.
All of our strategies and methodologies for reaching others are useless if we are incapable of living the holy, faithful lives God intends for us.
Yet God does not leave us on our own. The Holy Spirit equips us to succeed and thrive spiritually in preparation of becoming God’s message bearers (alternative term for missionary) in the world.
All of us want to know what’s necessary for the power of God to work through us. What’s required for the presence of God to make an eternal impact among those we serve?
Nobody gets involved in cross-cultural ministry to fail. Yet we’re rarely taught ways to thrive spiritually; it seems the assumption is that we intuitively know how.
The Great Commission is a spiritual work, not merely a strategic one. It’s eﬀectively served through spiritual people, full of the Holy Spirit, obedient to Jesus, consistently tending the garden of their inner life.
Spiritual formation and discipleship are at the core of effective and fruitful mission. There are fundamental inner spiritual practices we need for effective outer global witness.
We want to be diligent to partner with God and experience Jesus’ transforming power and presence in an ongoing way.
Eﬀective message bearers have many inner-life commonalities (both historically and in contemporary circles). Jesus’ teachings throughout the gospels highlight the importance of an inner spiritual reality, not merely external religious forms.
We want to consider these core characteristics of spiritual equipping that enable God’s message bearers to thrive in their calling among unreached and unengaged people groups?
God is calling a new generation to serve long-term to fulfill the Great Commission. The Holy Spirit is at work within us to equip and enable mission workers in and out of the field.
Ryan Shaw is President and International Lead Facilitator of SVM2, a growing alliance of like-minded, local ministries educating, inspiring and activating Christian disciples to their God-ordained roles in fulfilling the Great Commission through proven mission mobilization tools, prayer campaigns, equipping resources and teaching, training programs, conferences and strategic consultations.
Find answers to these questions and more in my newly released book through InterVarsity Press (IVP) entitled Spiritual Equipping For Mission: Thriving As God’s Message Bearers. It can be obtained through Amazon, IVP, Christian Book Distributors and many more e-retailer sites. Find the lowest price at http://www.svm2.net/ignite/resources/4-2014/.