Posted by: jacobgillard | January 19, 2010

Seven Mission Responses

Introduction to the Seven Mission Responses

As Christians, all of us have received God’s grace. We all know the story of how much God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to become a man and to live, die and rise again for our sake. We know that God has taken away our sin and made us part of His own family, though we’ve done nothing to deserve it. This is what we call grace. We didn’t earn it or work for it. It comes to us purely through God’s great love for us.

A Great Privilege

Now that we are God’s own children, God has given us other gifts as well. One of them is the privilege of being part of His mission to the world. God doesn’t need us, but out of grace He gives us the privilege of working with Him to bring other people to faith in Jesus Christ. And as we get involved in God’s mission, we experience the joy that comes from pleasing the God who loves us. We respond to God’s love for us by getting involved in God’s mission to the world.

There are seven ways that we can respond to God’s great love for us to be involved in God’s mission. We call these the seven mission responses. You may already be helping members of your congregation be involved in some of them. But there are others you might not have thought of. Let’s look at them together.

Seven Ways to Respond and Be Involved

The New Testament describes Christians of the early church engaged in seven identifiable areas of mission involvement. Their response to God’s grace helps us to see the possibilities for our own unique and active participation in His mission.

Learn! Learning about mission challenges, opportunities and who still needs to hear the Gospel forms the foundation for all mission activity.

Pray! Prayer for God’s mission by individuals and congregations is a crucial component of God’s mission. Prayer for specific missionaries, countries, national churches and people groups is needed, as well as prayer for people and material resources to do the work.

Give! By supporting missionaries, mission projects, or mission work in targeted areas, more people hear the Gospel. Our stewardship sparks exponential multiplication of disciples.

Tell! By telling others what God accomplishes through His people in mission, we provide real life examples of the Holy Spirit’s unfathomable work of bringing unbelievers to faith. This inspires and encourages others to greater mission involvement.

Send! Encouraging someone toward missionary service, writing to missionaries, and helping to meet their needs are examples of sending activities. Our sending supports their going.

Go! Whether it’s overseas or in our own back yards, some go as volunteer or career missionaries. Others go on short-term mission trips.

Celebrate! We celebrate God’s mission together during worship or at mission fairs and festivals by remembering all He has done to bring lost people to Himself. Celebration focuses on God’s grace, which extends from His throne into our own Jerusalems, Judeas, Samarias and ends of the earth! (Acts 1:8)

One Response Leads to Another

You’ve probably noticed that many of the responses may overlap each other. For example, you can’t really pray unless you learn a little about the people you’re praying for, and you can’t go very effectively unless someone’s there to send you. In this way, one mission response leads to another, until a congregation is involved in all seven.

That’s just a quick overview of seven ways we can respond to God’s love and be involved in God’s mission. This handbook offers many ideas to help you and your congregation get started with each mission response. Even though there are seven mission responses, your congregation may be stronger in one of the responses than in the others. It is possible to progress forward in mission involvement if you choose one mission response to focus on first. Then, as your congregation grows stronger in that one, aim to add another.

Excerpted from: Mission Education Handbook: The Seven Mission Responses.

For more mission education resources visit http://www.lcmsworldmission.org

© LCMS World Mission

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