About 4 years ago I took a Perspectives course in Gainesville, FL because I was passionate about missions and wanted to know more. I really enjoyed gaining a better understanding of our people groups, the stories from the missionaries who shared and what the Word can do! I asked for a summery of what’s happening with the USCWM/ Frontier Missions currently – local representative and part of the regional development team, Jeff Moody was happy to share:
In other words, our heart is to see the gospel reach those who have never had the opportunity to respond to the message of Jesus, and for an indigenous movement of the gospel to spread among them. And our role in bringing that vision into reality is to mobilize the existing church into greater understanding of and engagement in frontier missions among the unreached.
We do this through a framework we call PRIME. This is an acronym for the 5 key ways we seek to mobilize the church.
P – Prayer. Let’s get people praying for the unreached. We have our Global Prayer Digest as a tool for people to pray daily for the unreached.
R – Research. There are researchers in our National Office helping us identify the remaining unreached, and how to best reach them. The Joshua Project is a result of that research, made available to the church at large.
I – Innovation. We are always looking for the ways that God is moving, purposefully nurturing the next breakthrough that may be needed for the gospel’s continued growth. This requires fresh thinking and a willingness to try new things. We want to encourage this bold and innovative spirit in the church.
E – Engagement. We can’t just theorize, we have to be in the movement. We provide education and training such as Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, The Guild, and INSIGHT, practical ministry opportunities, and a clearinghouse of partnerships with mission sending organizations, all designed to help you identify and engage in your niche in the frontier missions movement.
Locally, I am always seeking to be a practitioner of the things I want to see other people doing. I will never lead / mobilize people into frontier missions if I am not personally involved myself. I am coaching churches and business people in their role in frontier missions, helping them develop a fruitful plan for the ministry they believe God has for them. My family and I are also personally building relationships among a diaspora population of an unreached people group here in Gainesville. We also lead the local Perspectives Team, and next year will be introducing a Frontier Mission Fellowship “local chapter,” where those involved will commit as a community to pray, give, serve, and minister for and among the unreached, including opportunities to engage with the local diaspora communities of unreached people groups.
“What Do I Do??”
If you are saying, “I have a heart for missions, but I don’t know where to start. What do I do?” Here is what I would suggest:
1. PRAY. Sign up for Global Prayer Digest and start praying every day for an unreached people group.
3. ENGAGE. Find a way locally, “right in your own world,” to be directly involved with the unreached, in a way that is natural for you to be involved and build relationships. If you live in an area with any diversity at all, you probably have people in your community who represent some connection to the unreached. Do some exploring and be creative, and you can find a way to naturally engage the unreached. Ideas: Is there a running group, crafting club, music studio, or book club you could join where other ethnicities participate? Is there a cultural learning center in your town (or the next closest large town / city) like an Islamic study center or Indian cultural center? If so, have you visited or found out what classes are offered? What country is your nail tech from? Or your dry cleaner, or UPS Store owner? Have you talked to them about their heritage or beliefs? What holidays / festivals are celebrated by ethnic communities in your area? Do they have any special cultural events you could attend? What nationalities are represented at your closest college or university? What opportunities are there to volunteer among them? Do you have people in your community who would like to learn conversational English, or need help editing papers for school because English is their second language? If you put on your creative thinking cap, you can come up with ways to be involved.
Also, look at the 5 key PRIME areas above. Do one of these ministry niches interest you to perhaps dive into further? We are seeking to build “PRIME Teams” who will focus on developing each of these areas of ministry.
YES, it takes time, prayer, commitment, and sacrifice. Are you willing to do what it will take? That is the question. If you say YES to that question, the opportunities are right there to be found. The harvest is plentiful.
4. PARTNER. Don’t be alone. Not only is there strength in being with others, but you need each other to complete what is to be done. God did not mean for us to be able to do everything that needs to be done ourselves. WE NEED EACH OTHER, to complement each other and serve together. This is at the personal level – there is strength in serving alongside of other believers. But this is also at the greater level of organizations and ministry niches. We need stronger partnerships between churches, agencies, community development organizations, etc. to effectively reach the unreached. If you are involved in ministry, be actively looking for ways to work alongside of complementary ministry efforts.
I would be honored and thrilled to help you find your way into greater involvement in ministry among the unreached! Please call or email me if I can serve you in any way.
US Center for World Mission