For a church revitalizer or replanter, the heartbeat of their ministry is the desire to be obedient to the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and to lead others to obey it as well. What if I told you that a tiny tweak to your worship service could raise the missional awareness of your congregation?
I have experienced this in our church, and I believe it will work elsewhere. The maximum time investment for your worship service is approximately three to five minutes, but will require a bit of additional legwork for you or someone on your team each week.
The tweak I am referring to is a Mission Moment. This weekly segment keeps the final words of Jesus ever before our congregation. In the following paragraphs, I will describe this game-changing part of our service and how we put it together.
Our church’s Mission Moment consists of three pieces of information and directed corporate prayer time. The building blocks of this invaluable segment are an unreached people group, a church planter and a local kingdom partner.
The first part of our Mission Moment highlights a people group somewhere in the world. One can obtain this information from the website peoplegroups.org. We select a people group, then give the demographic number, their location and the percentage that is evangelical Christian. The number of evangelicals among the affinity determines the color of the slide background we display on our screens. For example, green describes a group that has active church planting efforts and is more than 2% evangelical. Likewise, a yellow background identifies a group with some church planting efforts but is less than 2% evangelical. In the same way, a red background has no active church planting efforts and is less than 2% evangelical.
The second component of our Mission Moment highlights a NAMB church planter. You can find a list on the NAMB website or on the prayer calendar that NAMB produces each year. Each week it highlights a different planter and their families, the location and name of the church they are planting. This part of the Mission Moment reminds us that kingdom work is going on in the United States and Canada. All church members, including pastors, need to be reminded that God is at work everywhere. The planters and their families are fulfilling the Great Commission, and God can use this time to raise up young men and women and call them to this fulfilling work. It also introduces a church to a potential partner in short-term mission projects.
The kingdom partner in our Mission Moment is where we pray for a local church in our city or association. You can obtain a list of local churches and their pastors from the office of your local Baptist association. Once you have this information, send an email to the pastor or other staff member to let them know that your worship service highlights local churches to pray for each week and ask how you can specifically pray for their congregation. Perhaps they are preparing to host an outreach event or launch a new discipleship curriculum. The reasoning behind this part of the Mission Moment is that it opens the doors to cooperation between local churches and establishes in the minds of our members that other churches are partners, not rivals, in the advance of God’s kingdom. Therefore, we celebrate their wins and pray for their churches to grow.
Each week we select a different individual, staff member or lay leader to present this information to our congregation. We challenge our people to pray for these groups during the week, and then we pause for a time of corporate prayer.
I cannot give you statistical evidence of the results this practice will create in your church but, anecdotally, our church, which had no scheduled mission trips and little outreach activity prior to our weekly emphasis on the Mission Moment, became a church with two international trips and one domestic (North American) mission trip on the schedule prior to Covid canceling those plans. As Covid restrictions are lifted, we resumed our planning, and now have one international trip scheduled and are working toward arranging a domestic trip soon. Pausing each week in our worship service to consider the Mission Moment has played a considerable role in raising our church’s missional awareness. I believe it will help yours as well.
Published March 25, 2022