14) The BackPage: What’s Your Church Missions Strategy?

Some years ago, at a Lausanne meeting, I happened to be assigned to a table which afforded me the chance to meet Ellen Livingood. If you’ll forgive the bad grammer/pun for a moment, I can tell you that she really is (living good). She’s got enough marketing/arts background to make everything look really clean, simple, and understandable, and on the whole, she generates great content. For example, if your church is seeking to determine its current missions strategy — kind of like an assessment or evaluation — try her October 2013 newsletter, available at..


If her evaluation misses the mark at all, in my humble opinion, it seems to be skewed a bit toward analyzing one’s current approaches, then deciding how to prioritize among those. While this would be a helpful approach, from what we see in this article, we don’t really seem to be directed much at the Bible to determine biblical mandates. Without the Bible as our guide, wouldn’t our strategies be adrift, and therefore somewhat vulnerable to the latest trends or fads in world evangelism? In addition, to my mind’s eye, the work seems highly skewed toward the question, “How will we prioritize what we’re doing now,” instead of asking the more fundamental question, “What do God and the world need us to do, regardless of what our church or our leadership would prefer?” These are bolder questions and some missions teams might not feel empowered enough to ask them. But I can pretty much guarantee, God is wishing that we would. (Thanks for the tip, Marti!)

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