MayMiss 10-12-162

The Mission Leadership Team

Mobilizing Your Church to Touch the World


David Mays

The Mission Exchange, 2010, 131 pp.  $12.95  


ISBN 978-0-615-41443-0


Purchase this book for your church.  If you work for a mission organization, get copies for your supporting churches.  Order at  Click on the visitor link, create a profile, and go to the online store. Get a bundle of six for $9.50 each +s/h.  For larger orders contact David Mays.


David Mays is the Director of Learning Initiatives for The Mission Exchange.  Previously he served for more than twenty years helping churches develop their missions ministries with ACMC.  This workbook provides a stimulating overview of the job of leading missions in a local church, including current issues, practical suggestions, additional helps, space to work in the book, and an excellent list of current resources. Read the Contents, Introduction, and Chapter 1 here. 


"God has given the Church an impossible task."  "But Jesus gave the command, and along with it he gave his authority, his presence, and his incomparably great power."  "The task of mission is much more difficult and complex than the global marketing operation of a multi-national corporation.  And the burden for sorting out this complexity…falls on local church leaders." (Preface)


"Churches have changed substantially in how they operate compared to twenty-five years ago. … Church leaders still seek to advance the Great Commission but they are much more oriented toward the pervasive moral and social needs of our communities.  The scope of the church's agenda has substantially broadened."  "Church leaders have found it more practical to cast a vision for "mission"--meaning all ministry beyond the congregation…."  (Introduction)


1.  Foundations - What is our charter?

The charter includes four elements: 1) a purpose statement for the mission team, 2) a biblical basis statement for mission, 3) the scope of mission and 4) the authority granted the team.  "The mission leadership team exists to help church leaders fulfill the purpose of the church." (8)  Therefore, the purpose statement of the mission team should clearly connect with the church purpose statement.  This chapter provides a very simple but effective way to build or rebuild a biblical basis for mission statement.   


2.  Functions - What are we supposed to do?

The major categories in this chapter are communicate, plan, manage, mobilize, partner, and send.  "An aim for any mission team is to make mission a normal, regular part of congregation life." (19)  "Make mission both intensive and extensive." (21)  "The mission team may be looking for ways to help the church staff and board understand the overriding priority of the Great Commission." (23)  "The team also carries a responsibility to ensure that people pray for the world, for the lost and hurting, for mission work, for countries and nations, for persecuted believers, for leaders and workers in the community and around the world, for the church in mission and for their own commitment and involvement." (27)  


Planning includes setting priorities and goals.  How do you evaluate the competing possibilities for ministry?  Are decisions based on what particular leaders favor, what most benefits the church, what best disciples the congregation, what particular individuals feel called to do, or what is most urgent or productive in the world?  Is it better for the church's mission work to be a beacon or a thousand points of light?  What should be the primary shapers of the church's mission work?  How is a strategy translated into decisions and budgets?


Where do values, policies, procedures and strategy fit into managing the team?    How does a church best use its fixed and portable assets?  What does evaluation of the mission ministry entail and what are the best tools to use? 


What are the biggest challenges in mobilizing the congregation and what are some ways churches are working at these challenges?  What is involved in an effective partnership?  Who is a missionary and what do we need to do to prepare them?


3.  Qualifications and Training - What do we have to be and know?

There is much a team needs to know to make wise decisions and do good planning for mission.  They need to know some things about missions, history, geography, mission methods, mission organizations, and a host of other things.  And it is critically important to have a clear understanding of the mission priorities of Scripture.  The team needs spiritual qualities, a variety of skills and diversity.  And it needs to be representative of the congregation.  Mission teams need ongoing education, partly because most of us are woefully ignorant of the above, but also because the world is changing, the culture is changing, the church is changing, and missions is ever changing.  A number of resources and suggestions are provided.


4.  Constituencies - With whom do we work?

Mission teams interface with pastors, elders, ministry and other leaders, missionaries and workers, partners, and others in the Great Commission community.  How does a mission team maximize its influence in all these arenas, encouraging, equipping, caring for workers, and involving all parts of the church in mission? 


"Ideally the mission team becomes the resource team, equipping every ministry in the church to participate in mission." (76) "Your desire and prayer is that your pastor will seek to build a world vision into the life of every member."  (78)  "Perhaps the worship leader is in the best position in the church to keep God's heart for the nations in front of the congregation." (80) 


5.  Structure - How do we organize ourselves?

In some churches one person handles all the mission business.  At the other extreme, one church had 140 people in mission leadership?  What is best for your church?  One person?  One leader with support from others?  A team?  A team with sub-teams?  A steering or management team with multiple teams?  Or some alternative structure? 


6.  Operation - How do we execute?

Who leads the team?  What is the role of the mission pastor?  How do you handle the difficulties of meetings?  How can you most effectively get the work done?  Who handles the finances?  How might an annual retreat help you?  "How can you oversee a global marketing operation on one meeting a month?" (95)


Appendix I.  Critical Roles of the Mission Pastor

Appendix II.  The Missional Church and Mission

Appendix III.  The Poor, The Hurting, The Lost

Appendix IV.  Make Disciples or Disciple the Nations?

Appendix V.  Weighed in the Balance: Balancing Priorities to Achieve the Church's Purpose



Example Work Space

Work Space:


These are the ways education and discipleship are being carried out in our congregation:






These are the ways evangelism training is being carried out:





These are the service projects being planned or carried out:






Our team is working with the following leaders, ministries, and groups to help them incorporate mission projects into their ministries:





These team members will approach the following leaders to help them incorporate one of the above:

Team Member                         Ministry Leader

____________________        ____________________

____________________        ____________________

____________________        ____________________

____________________        ____________________



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