We Want to Stop Recruiting!
Most mission agencies have a recruiting department and aggressively seek to find new missionaries to join them. Historically, they have sent representatives to Bible Colleges and Seminaries to enlist those who may be heading to the mission field. Agencies are highly motivated because we regularly see the needs and opportunities around the world. Missionaries desperately want team members and feel the weight of seeing the tsunami of need that exists around the world. Going to colleges was a good strategy since there were students preparing for vocational ministry at these institutions.
But we want to get out of the recruiting business.. we would like to stop looking for missionaries. That job should belong to the church, not the mission agency. Mission organizations don’t create new missionaries… churches do. We don’t send missionaries… churches do. We don’t support missionaries… churches do. The local church is God’s chosen entity to accomplish His purposes on planet earth. Missions belongs to the local church.
When God launched missionaries from the church in Antioch (Acts 13) he laid that burden on the hearts of the people in the church instead of the missionaries. Notice the language of verse 2: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” The Holy Spirit was not speaking to the potential missionaries. It seems strange to us that God did not communicate with Paul and Barnabas. After all, they were the ones chosen to be missionaries. Apparently, others in the church were sensitive to the Spirit and recognized God’s calling in the lives of future missionaries.
What if every member in the church was aware of God’s working in the lives of others. What if every church member viewed themselves as a “missions rep?” What if local churches took on the responsibility of recruiting missionaries and agencies simply served the churches that choose to use them? Don’t you think you could do a better job than us?