Local, global and creative

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our guest editorial is from IMB President David Platt. You will find IMB content throughout this special issue of On Mission, including an enhanced City Page feature. It is all part of the continuing collaboration between IMB and NAMB.

Globalization is a big word that means different things to different people—disappearing borders, global economic competition, new jobs, or, perhaps, lost jobs. When I think of globalization I think of the nations coming to us even as we continue to go to the nations. That’s why I am excited about IMB and NAMB partnering more closely to mobilize churches to reach the unreached, wherever they are.

God isn’t just bringing unreached people to American cities; He’s bringing them to cities all over the world. How can we maximize our resources to follow Him and make disciples in a rapidly globalizing world where 2 billion people have yet to hear the gospel? We need to think more creatively. Our current mission model isn’t getting us to all of them.

With budget constraints in recent years, I proposed a streamlined mission strategy to our IMB trustees earlier this year, which they strongly affirmed, focusing on one main priority: empowering limitless missionary teams to make disciples and multiply churches among unreached people for the glory of God. What does that mean for the development of missionary teams? Let’s get creative.

Picture a global megacity, for example. Picture two fully-funded IMB missionaries living and working there. But picture also three or four professionals who get paid by their own companies or by businesses to serve in that city. Then imagine three or four students on scholarships funded by universities to study in that city, and maybe several retirees funded by Uncle Sam. Now we have a team of 10 or more mission workers while financially supporting two. If you multiply that by hundreds, you get the picture of “limitless.”

With the globalization of today’s marketplace, God has given us countless opportunities for more men, women and families to get in on the action. How do you fit into God’s creative global plan? How does your church fit in? I’m convinced those are two of the most important questions you will ever answer.

Published June 22, 2015