Act 1: 8 Global Outreach Plan of Church

Act 1: 8 Global Outreach Plan of Church

Christian Missions

 

Introduction

The world has a lot of people and communities that are yet to be reached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ even today. Christians have been granted the responsibility to spread the gospel and evangelize to the unreached individuals. In Matthew 28: 18-20, through the authority on heaven and on earth given to Him, Jesus gave the command to his disciples to go out and make disciples of all the nations of the world and teach them to obey all that he had commanded them. The command given to the disciples of Jesus extends to today, and it is, therefore, the mission and duty of all Christians to go forth and “make disciples of all nations of the world” beginning from their own “Jerusalem” to the “ends of the world”.  The Global outreach plan outlined below is based on the Acts 1:8 verse and is a plan for the (insert church) to fulfill Christ’s command and to spread the gospel to the unreached people in all the nations of the world. The plan constitutes a precise overview of the biblical foundations of missions, our geographic designations, cultural implications and potential strategies and partners with whom we can fulfill Christ’s Great Commission through this global outreach plan.

Biblical Foundations of Missions

Our global outreach plan is founded on the biblical foundations of missions from the law, prophets, Gospels, Psalms, Epistles, and Acts. From the law, particularly from Genesis 12:1-3, the outreach is based on the passage of the Abrahamic covenant made between God and Abraham regarding the nation of Israel. In the passage, God instructed Abraham to leave his country, his people and his father’s household and go to a land which God would show him, and there, God would bless him, and his descendants and all the people on earth would be blessed through him. Abraham obeyed God’s command and went to the promised land where the blessing of all nations was to take place through the coming of Christ. Through this passage, missionaries learn that, through and because of Christ, all the nations of the world shall be blessed as they hear the gospel of Christ and become saved in faith through Him. The passage also teaches that Christians or missionaries have the responsibility to spread the gospel of Christ to the people groups in all of the world’s nations. This duty, just like in Abraham’s case, will, sometimes, involve leaving one’s country, home, and father’s household to go and be a blessing to people in foreign lands.

From the prophets, the outreach is based on the book of Isaiah 6:8. In this verse, we are told of Isaiah responding to the calling of God. God asks, “who shall I send? And who will go for us?” and to this, Isaiah responds, “here am I, send me!” God wanted someone who would take His word and the message He wanted to be delivered to the people (the Israel nationals). Decidedly, this verse has a prominent lesson to missionaries. As missionaries, we should be ready and willing to answer the call of God and to deliver his message and word to those He directs us to. When God needs and asks whom He shall send, we should be ready to say, “here am I. Send me!” just as Isaiah did. Missionaries are to go out to the people of all nations and tell God’s word and message to them. Further, in Jeremiah 1:7, through His words to Jeremiah, God directs us to speak that which He commands us and to not be worried by our youth. Accordingly, as missionaries, as long as we speak that which the Lord has commanded, it does not matter how young we are, therefore, we can all be missionaries.

From Psalms, the outreach is founded on the passage in Psalms 67:1-7. This is a passage about a prayer of mercy to God. The Israelites prayed to God and asked Him to give them spiritual health and that all the nations come to know and praise Him. This passage has an important lesson to missionaries, from which we draw the basis of our global outreach plan. We are aware that to do missionary work we need to be strong spiritually and physically and for us to achieve that, we have to pray to God to grant us the necessary spiritual and physical stamina. Missionaries learn from the passage that they should pray to God not only for spiritual stamina and health to be able to reach and engage the unreached and unaged but also for the people to whom they take the word to respond to the word of God in faith and praise Him. The passage sets precedence for us for what we should ask from God during prayers with respect to our work of spreading the word.

From the Gospels, our outreach will be based on Matthew 28:18-20. The passage represents the passage of the mandate of the “Great Commission” by Jesus to his disciples. The passage reads as follows:  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Notably, Jesus not only instructed his disciples to go make disciples of all nations but also outlined how that was to be done. They were to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This mandate is also granted to us as missionaries. We also intend to go out and make disciples of all nations as Jesus instructed and the manner He did.

From Acts, the outreach plan is based on the passage in Acts 1:8. The passage designated the scope of the missions that the disciples were to undertake. They were to begin from Jerusalem, then to Judea and to Samaria and finish with the “ends of the earth”. In the passage, Jesus also promised the disciples the power of the Holy Spirit which would guide them through their work. For missionaries, the lesson from this passage is that Jesus did not leave His disciples to depend on themselves. Instead, he gave the church the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to help it reach those in the ends of the earth with His Gospel. The passage also teaches that each church needs to determine the scope of its outreach work in a modern context. It needs to have its Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and ends of the earth.

From the Epistles, the outreach plan is based on 1 Corinthians 1:2. In this verse, Paul was writing to the church in Corinth. His epistle, however, extended to people in different places. He directed it to all those called to be the holy people of Jesus Christ and Sanctified in His name and all those who call upon His name. Paul wished for everyone wherever they are to know the name of Christ through the Gospel. Missionaries, therefore, learn that they should make Christ known to all the people by taking the Gospel to them. Further, besides the mentioned biblical foundations, the Bible also serves in providing Christian with an understanding of the work with regards to spreading the Gospel. First, it teaches that God is sovereign and He acts to draw people to a saving knowledge through the Gospel. The church, missionaries, and all Christians, on the other hand, are commissioned to take the Gospel to all people and make disciples of them. All Christians and churches should also be involved in this exercise as is commanded by the scripture.

Geographic Designations

            Acts 1:8, as mentioned before, provides the scope of an outreach plan for a mission. In the passage, the designations were stipulated as Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. These designations are applicable to today’s missional work. For our global outreach plan, the geographic designations outlined hereinafter represent modern day applications of the designations found in Acts 1:8.

For our outreach plan’s Jerusalem, we chose the city of Huntsville, Alabama. This includes the city’s core and its outskirts. For Judea, we will still be in the state of Alabama but in a different city. We plan to take the gospel to the city of Birmingham, Alabama. We will also venture to other cities within the state of Alabama that we can reach within a day’s travel. However, our main concern will the city of Birmingham. Our church’s Samaria will be represented by Syria. We will target a specific people group in Syria. Lastly, for our church’s outreach plan’s ends of the earth, which encompasses the entire world, we chose the nation of Uganda. Just as it is stated in the book Finish the Mission, our intention is to have a heart for the nations the same way God has a heart for them and for this, we plan to take the word to the ends of the earth starting with Uganda where we shall target a specific people group.

Our geographic designations look as follows: Jerusalem – Huntsville, Judea – Alabama, Samaria – Syria, and Ends of the Earth – Uganda.

Cultural Implications

There are various cultural implications that our church needs to pay heed to as we develop our global outreach plan and target particular people groups in our geographic designations. Among the various implications, there are four significant and impactful implications which include language, ethnicity, religion and the way of life of a people that our church primarily considers. These cultural implications are going to impactful on the strategies we adopt to deliver the gospel of Christ to the various people groups from our geographic designations. Below is a provision of the cultural implications across our geographic designations.

In our Jerusalem, which is the city of Huntsville, Alabama, there are various ethnic groups who use different languages and have different religions as well as a way of life. Huntsville, AL. has a community of Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and people of mixed race. Among these people, there is a significant number of them that is unengaged. The city has a religious percentage of 54.72.[1] This is the percentage of people who follow a particular religion. Most of them are Christian while others subscribe to the Jewish religion and others follow eastern religions that are prominent in Asia. This statistic shows there is a huge number of people in the city that are yet to be reached and engaged. Accordingly, they do not know Christ and they do not acknowledge him as their personal savior. Among these people is the Korean community in Huntsville. Most of the Koreans are not fluent in English and thus use their own language when conversing with each other. They also lead a different way of life from that of ordinary Americans. They are more reclusive and their company is mainly limited to persons of their own culture. Further, regarding their religion, they subscribe to the Asian religions of Confucianism and Buddhism. Our church needs to consider how well or what strategies to use to reach the Koreans in Huntsville.

In our Judea, the city of Birmingham, Alabama, as well as other surrounding cities that can be reached within a day’s travel. Just like in Huntsville, Birmingham, as well as most of the other cities in the state of Alabama, have Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and people mixed of race as the ethnic and racial groups. The state of Alabama has 65 percent of people who are Christians. Decidedly, the other percentage comprises a group of people who follow other religions as well as those who are unreached and unengaged and who make the people we are interested to minister to. For our church, we are mainly concerned about the Chinese people who are unreached within the wider Area of Alabama and, more specifically, the city of Birmingham. The Chinese are an ethnic group by themselves and they have a culture that is unique to them. They also have religions of their own as most of them follow the Buddhist religions while others subscribe to Confucianism. Also, they have a different way of life that can impact the way they receive the message of Gospel of Christ. They are also not well versed in the English language since they mostly converse in mandarin amongst each other. Accordingly, as we develop our global outreach plan, our church will need to consider the best possible and effective ways of reaching the Chinese people. This includes the strategies that we are going to use.

In our Samaria, which is represented by the nation of Syria, there are people of different ethnic backgrounds and who speak different languages. Among these people of different ethnic backgrounds, there are those who are yet to be reached and engaged. According to the Joshua Project, there are 38 people groups in Syria. Of the 38, 19 people groups are unreached which makes it 50 percent of all the people groups. The 19 unreached people groups make up 33.2 percent of the country’s total population or 5,868,000 peoples.[2] These people’s need to be reached and engaged. For our church’s global outreach plan, however, we chose one people group who are the Turkmens in the country. Religious wise, the Turkmens are followers of the Islamic religion. There are very few, if any, that adhere to Christianity. Our aim is to make the gospel of Christ known to all these people. Besides their religion, another cultural implication that comes with trying to reach this group of people is the language. The Turkmens primary language is Turkmen and very few of them know even a little of English which is our own language. Regarding their way of life, the Turkmens have been nomadic for many centuries now which will impact how we deliver the message to them.[3] Accordingly, our strategies will be established by considering all the mentioned cultural implications.

In our ends of the earth which is represented by the country of Uganda, just like the state of Syria, there are people of different ethnicities and languages. The country is made of 67 people groups who make up a population of 41,578,000 people. Among these, 5 people groups who represent a population of 1 million are yet to reached and engaged as per the Joshua Project. For our outreach plan, we chose the Karamojong people in the country. Significant progress has been made to reach this group of people. However, there is a still a huge number of them that is unreached. Notably, most of the Karamojong population does not adhere to Christianity.[4] Instead, they follow their ethnic religions which forms the first cultural implication that we have to consider while formulating our strategy to reach them. Language is also another thing. The Karamojong use a language known as Ng’akarimojong that no one in our church is good at. They Karamojong are themselves not good in English. They also lead a nomadic lifestyle. Decidedly, these are the various implications that we will need to consider while trying to reach this people group.

The mission of the Missions Team is the Cross-Cultural portfolio of the church’s mission. God’s mission is All encompassing. Missional. Orientation. missions. outreach. Church’s mission is a slice of the whole portfolio. Missions is Cross cultural.

Potential Strategies and Partners

We have already outlined the geographic scope of our outreach plan above and the people that we intend to reach in those geographic locations as well as the cultural implications involved. With that already done, we can now embark on formulating the strategies that we will use to reach the different unreached people groups that we intend to reach. These are going to ensure the effectiveness of our work. The potential strategies have been combined with possible partners to ensure fluidity of the work and to illustrate how partners are going to aid us in implementing the strategies, the help we are going to expect from them and how that is going to be reciprocated. Our strategies and partners are as follows:

Prioritize Evangelism and Discipleship

In prioritizing evangelism, our primary goal to reach the various unreached people groups mentioned in our outline from the different geographic designations with the Gospel in their own language. As noted, none of the unreached people groups in our geographic designations that we intend to reach are native English speakers or are completely versed in the language. The Gospel is best understood when it is communicated to its recipients through their own tongues which they can understand better thus our intention to spread it in that manner. In this line, we shall seek to find Bible translation and even translate the Bible to the native tongues of our unreached people groups. Also, we shall use interpreters to help us communicate in the tongues of the unreached people groups we are seeking to reach. Our partners, therefore, will include Bible translation and provision organizations and interpreters.

For our Bible translation and provision, we shall seek to partner with the American Bible Society. The American Bible Society strives for accuracy while translating the Bible into various languages which is something we are going to need. Also, it already has Bible translations already made that we are going to use. Most importantly, the organization partners with church leaders and ministry leaders whom they equip with customized Bible resources that are going to aid our teaching of the word to the unreached people groups.[5] The organization also aims to see people engaged with word of God in the United States and beyond which is a part of what we are trying to do. To ensure a reciprocal relationship between the American Bible Society and our church, we will partner with the organization in one or more of the following manners: First, we could join the organization as a member to assure it of our church’s commitment to its efforts. Second, we could contribute finances to fund its efforts through period offerings or buying Bibles from the organization whenever we need some.

Our church will also seek to partner with the Bible Society of Uganda. The Bible Society of Uganda operates almost the same as the American Bible Society. As such, our partnership with them will seek to serve the same purpose as the American Bible Society. However, the Bible Society of Uganda will be helpful to our work with the Karamojong in Uganda. We will partner with this organization in the same we have outlined our likely partnership with the American Bible Society. Decidedly, these two organizations are going to help use in evangelizing to the unreached people groups we intend to reach. Further, as stated, we will also partner with interpreters. For our Jerusalem’s unreached people group, the Korean’s in Huntsville, we already have people who can help us with interpretation in our Church. For our other geographic designations, however, we are going to have to seek interpreters from within the people groups. Also, we are going to have to teach our church members who will be involved in the missional work about the language and culture of the people groups we intend to engage. These strategies are going to impact our evangelism efforts.

After evangelizing to the unreached people and they begin making professions of faith, we shall then seek to disciple them. We will be careful to ensure that there is a proper balance between evangelism and discipleship. For discipleship, we shall seek to train the new believers the spiritual disciplines which include praying, reading the Bible, being a church member, and worshipping God, among others. This will enable them to become spiritually mature. We shall also teach them how to evangelize to others and be able to reach other people groups as well.

Church Planting and Strengthening

During our outreach, besides evangelizing and discipling, we shall also seek to plant new churches and strengthen already existing ones. In this line, just like Paul did, we shall plant new churches among the unreached people groups whom we seek to reach. This will especially be the case in our Samaria and ends of the earth where we chose the Turkmens and Karamojong respectively. As noted, the Turkmens are not engaged at all. As such, it will be important to plant churches among them to ensure their spiritual maturity. The Karamojong, on the other hand, have been slightly engaged. As such, for their case, we will plant churches and strengthen the already existing ones to ensure the continual spiritual growth. For our Koreans and Chinese communities in Alabama, we shall seek to strengthen existing churches to enable them to take the converted individuals under their wing and help them in their spiritual maturity. Accordingly, we shall partner with local churches close to those we seek to reach. For those we shall partner with for church strengthening, our strategy will involve proving pastors with training material to aid their development as communicators of the Gospel and help them carry out ministry work. We shall also assist them in becoming effective evangelists and we shall pray to God to grant them the guidance they need. We shall also provide financial support where necessary.

Leadership Development that Leads to Multiplication

Out outreach plan does not only seek to make disciples of all nations but also to empower the disciples we make to go make disciples of all other nations. In this way, we shall develop leadership that leads to multiplication. To achieve this, we shall train leaders in theology to provide them with a firm biblical foundation, apologetics to enable them to defend any objections to their faith and the word of God, and evangelism to enable them to engage in evangelistic works. Also, we shall teach leaders how to disciples and the various spiritual disciplines to enable them to make disciples of others. These exercises will lead to the multiplication of both believers and churches.

Focusing on The Unreached and Including the Harvest Fields

Our outreach plan focuses on the unreached individuals in our geographic designations. As noted, the Turkmens represent a huge population of people that are yet to be reached and engaged. Also, the Karamojong are only slightly engaged. It is the same case for the Chinese and Koreans in Alabama. Considering this are the people we intend to evangelize; our focus is already set on the unreached. Besides this people, we also intend to venture into areas where the harvest is ready in our geographic designations. This means that our outreach needs to be flexible to enable use go to where the harvest is ready. Our aim is not only sowing the gospel seed among the people but also harvesting the souls in places where they are ready to be harvested. As we know, the harvest period is only for a while and harvest, therefore, needs to be done when it is time comes lest all the harvest is lost.[6]

Partnering with Nationals

Regarding partnering with nationals, we shall form partnerships with various national and international mission boards as well as Bible societies. An outline of our partnership with Bible societies was outlined earlier in this document. For international mission boards, we shall partner with the American Mission Board locally and the International Mission Board internationally. These will help us with providing the necessary knowledge and connections in conducting our missional work. We shall also partner with local churches for various reasons including church strengthening and incorporation of our converts into Christ. We shall encourage members of our church to contribute in one way or another to these partners. We shall provide financial support where necessary to the various organizations and churches. We will also offer our prayers.

Emphasize Holistic Ministries

Our outreach plan emphasizes holistic ministries. Our aim is not to only capture the souls of people and help them grow spiritually but also aid their physical, mental, and emotional needs as well. In some of our geographic designations, particularly Samaria and ends of the earth, meeting people’s physical needs will be important. For instance, in Syria, the country is ravaged by conflict and the people are suffering. Therefore, we shall seek to provide them with medication and food as well as comforting them to ensure both their physical and emotional wellbeing. Among the Karamojong, on the other hand, we shall provide them with medication for their animals and food for themselves considering they are a poor community. Through such actions, we will be able to reach them spiritually.

Conclusion

            Our church now has a Global Outreach Plan to help us reach the unreached people groups in our chosen geographic designations. Through this plan, we should be able to reach the mentioned people with the Gospel of Christ. We have outlined a number of strategies that are going to aid our missional work. We have also included partners who are going to be instrumental in the success of our work. All that remains now is for our church to implement this plan and continue to fine tune it as new implications arise. When it does that, it will have fulfilled its part of the Great Commission starting from our Jerusalem and reaching to the ends of the earth.

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