Reflection of Missions
The challenge to be truly missional requires that persons consider themselves to be disciples, and begin to engage their communities in their everyday life, to be incarnate. This has posed a challenge to the church and seeks to answer the question: how will missions and being missional in the 21st century be any different from the Colonial Periods? The challenges that seem to be facing the local churches are similar to those which face the North American Churches. Some of these challenges are diversity of the harvest, an increasingly large harvest, lack of harvesters, lack of focus in the Church, a dying Church and an unclear presentation of the Gospel. In the Book of Luke chapter 10 verse 2 it reads, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” This was Jesus’ view of the many souls that were not saved. This picture is true today of the North American Church and begs the question “Has the Church lost its focus of the Great Commission?” Many churches are declining, and even dying, while the ‘unchurched’ population is increasing. Ed Stetzer and Mike Dobson state that three denominations – Assemblies of God, Nazarene, and Southern Baptists – all reported a decline in their membership. While many churches in these denominations are growing the greater portion is declining.
We do not have to travel miles and overseas to some foreign country to locate the mission field. Right here, literally in our backyards, the world has come to us, as Sadiri Joy Tira, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization senior associate for Diasporas, said, “The world has become borderless.” The next challenge that Jesus identified was that the laborers are few (Luke 10:2). Many churches lack disciples or self-feeders (Christ-centered persons) that are harvesters. According to Ed Stetzer and Mike Dobson in the book entitled Come Back Churches, 70 to 80 percent (70-80%) of North American Churches are in decline and 3,500 to 4,000 U.S. churches close their doors every year. To be truly missional requires a holistic approach that includes the Great Commandment, Great Commission and the Great Compassion, this I call “The Circle of Mission”. It is about ministering to the total person and requires an investment into person’s lives of our time and our finance.
 In their book Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples, Geiger, Eric, and Thom S. Rainer, researched and present a clear and detail picture of the North American Church community. The book is published by Kiev Russia: B&H Publishing Group, 2006.
 Mike Dodson, and Ed Stetzer in their Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too evaluated 300 churches that were declining and undertook a process that led to their turn around. The book is published in New York by B&H Books, 2007.
 Sadiri Joy Tira, “Evangelism vs. Missions” Christianity Today, July 2010.