Recognize there may be a decrease in the need for the traditional missionary or pastor; a minister may now be anyone with a Christ-centered Biblical values-based obsession to share Christ and His Good News. Organizations such as Finishers Project center their ministry on people with skills and life experience and with an obsession for Jesus, who want to step into a more significant life for Christ. Finishers Project provides a connection between the global needs and the resources and capabilities available. Because of organizations like Finishers Project, people with an obsession for Christ and with the heart to serve Him anywhere in the world can now do so. From the springboard of their daily working which is their testimony in action, they can make the contacts that can lead to mentoring and discipling.
During the first century, Christians could independently travel to other cities and begin to minister without needing outside support. Paul is a good example. He made tents to support him while using his time in each city to evangelize those needing Christ and encourage those belonging to Christ. Today, we still have “tentmakers” doing mission work around the world. Only now, there are two types of tentmakers: those like Paul working to support themselves and a new group – those who set up a business as a ministry.
Modern “tent-making” is practicing a non-ministry profession as your income source while you actively minister in an area needing Christ. While this missionary approach does not add jobs to help the local economy, it does put the missionary in the mix of the local culture.
On the other hand, a new “Tent making” equates to what Matviuk calls “business as missions”. The business and the ministry or missions “constitute Kingdom Business” according to Ken Eldred in his book God Is at Work. “Kingdom Business” follows practices of a successful business, integrating the business with the faith of the leaders. The Kingdom Business aims for both local economic development and the Gospel development. Its goals are both to transform the community and to transform lives. This boils down to three initiatives: “profitability and sustainability”, “local job and wealth creation,” and “advancement of the local church.”
Despite its likeness to secular leadership, Christian leadership has as its beginning a different assumption. That assumption flows out of a relation with Jesus Christ and the Spirit-given vision of His Kingdom. Although a Christian may have the title of ‘leader’, Christ Himself is the leader when a Christian is in proper relationship to Christ.
Secular leadership is also now recognizing the importance of relationships. New studies show that “strong leadership arises out of a symbiotic relationship between leaders and followers within a given group.” ‘Good leadership’ arises from the reality of a leader understanding his or her group and the actions the group values. Effective leaders have the capacity “to shape what the followers actually want to do” and to use the group identity as “a blueprint for action.”
Because effective leadership arises out of the group, effective leadership style will fit the culture and values of that particular group. The style of the new missionary and leader may vary in how each interacts with others, but the underlying Christ-led core values will still reflect the “compassion of Christ”. Paul had a similar flexible style with a commitment to “proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. And for this purpose also I labor striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” Organizational leaders must recognize their leadership task focuses on building and equipping people to perform at their potential within God’s will, not just to get organizational tasks carried out.
Recognize that ministry opportunity is no longer limited to just the local community; the world is your ministry. With the growth and convenience of air travel, communication, and the internet, international communication is hardly distinguishable from local communication. The other side of the world is only a phone call or an e-mail away.
For example, today if a church wants to adopt an “unreached people group” they can through an organization called Antioch Network. Westwood Baptist Church in Olympia, Washington decided it was time to expand their thinking. For years the mission pastor had been developing their mission capabilities and commitment. Now it was time to enlarge their global intentions. With the help of Antioch Network, Westwood currently fully supports all costs to reach an unreached people group – complete with missionaries; this is as well as keeping their other mission commitments. Westwood is a church with a strategic intent, a global scope, and an obsessive commitment growing out of Christ-centered core values.
A team must have the same core values, to have a group positive obsession or strategic intent. This means a critical activity is team selection, especially as it has to do with leadership team positions. If a person will be ministering and on the team, then core value alignment is critical.