Case Studies on mobilizing church congregations


I have been sharing a few of the reports found on various brigada conferences during our Sunday Morning services over the past few weeks. Response has been terrific. I just read a few praise reports as well as some of the not so good things, to show them the need for and results of prayer around the world. I have let them know that if they would like more info about a specific people group, I would see what I could find.

From: Frustrated in trying to help a church develop a missions policy? Would it be nice to have an example for them to follow? AIMS has available to mission mobilizers and churches sample missions policies that have aided many mission committees trying to write their own mission policy for their particular church. The cost of these sample missions policies is $10. Send your request to

Fire broke out in this small country church, but it wasn't another racially motivated church burning -- instead it was the fire of the Holy Spirit, setting his people apart for the work of World Evangelism. On May 18, 1997 the traditional day of Pentecost, a team of four members of the MV LOGOS II, a part of the Operation Mobilisation international ship ministry, came to Sherwood Oregon to share and minister during Sherwood Community Friends, Mission Emphasis Sunday. They came at the bequest of the church who had decided to forgo creating a spring mission conference and incorporate the mission message into the normal worship service. "It was a strategic decision, the purpose of the service was to bring a sense of mission to the people. We have been working hard to avoid an event driven mentality and desire deeply the work of the Spirit of God in our lives" said Rick Reid, a local mission activist. They weren't disappointed. Although the two services were intended to be identical, the Spirit of God spoke a coherent message but from different ministers during each service. In the first service David Albreit, OM-USA representative gave a powerful and compelling illustration of the chasm that separates the church from the lost. "The church is over there on that side of the street with the answers, but the people who need the answers are over on the other side of the street." said Albreit, "The people can't cross the street and the church won't." During the second service, during what quakers call "Open Worship" Marie-Therese Prunier, an MV LOGOS II crew member, stood up shaking and spoke to the congregation, the jest of which was to obey the Lord in his work to reach the lost." This was further confirmed by the word, shared by her husband Jean-Claude, "Jeremiah 26:13, Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God." "It reminded me of the old quaker services, the way she trembled in fear of God" said Ken VandenHoek, Pastor of Sherwood Friends. "I was a bit worried, but had to say, Lord -- You're in this." Between services, Onno VanDyke, also of MV LOGOS II, ministered deeply to the heart of the children and especially to the Junior High School students about life on the mission ship and the need to reach the lost. Further testimony for the work of the Spirit came as several members of the congregation sensed a call to be involved in missions and also in recognizing the abundance that this community has in christian resources. One of the members stood up and testified to seeing that even a comparatively sized town in Norway had less of a witness for Christ then Sherwood. In a follow-up sermon a week later, Pastor VandenHoek, vividly shared that the church exists for the purpose of "reaching the lost." Currently, further action remains unknown. Will the fire remain? "It is my greatest fear," states Reid, "To miss this opportunity to feed the fire until it develops into an absolute consuming wild fire would be setting us back another hundred years." So how do you feed the fire? Reid gives an uncommon answer, "If you look at the book of Acts, it looks like it took a little prayer, a little persecution and looking in unlikely places -- I mean, who would have ever thought a Pharisee would have been the greatest missionary the church ever produced. I guess I'm starting by asking God, Who's our enemy?" Source: Rick Reid <rick_reid@MENTORG.COM>


In one of the most striking presentations of the two day-conference, John Rowell, pastor of 450-member Northside Community Church of Atlanta, an Evangelical Free congregation described his "ordinary" church's people group adoption. Northside, however, is far from ordinary. Despite, or perhaps, because, Pastor Rowell has no seminary degree (Evangelical Free does not require one), Northside has emphasized training gifted laity to plant churches. It planted three daughter churches in its own community, including one Farsi-speaking congregation. Finally it committed to adopt the Bosnian Muslims, a Joshua Project People. In 1992, there were no known believers among the group. When the 4-year siege of Sarejevo began, Rowell's church worried that the opportunity there would end. The pastor and a team took a journey during the war, to see if there was still a role for them. They found a refugee center where people were hurting and accessible. They excitedly hurried home to prepare long and short term teams to help in the camp. Northside numbered only 250 members at this time and a more experienced agency said "What makes you think that, as a small church, you can accomplish something that hasn't been accomplished in eight centuries?" Northside was not discouraged by the challenge that faced them! They trained and sent three types of teams: prayer, short term and long term. A two-week on-site prayer team "prepared the ground" for others who would follow. Now there are 5 Americans and 3 nationals on the church planting team. Working with national leaders from Croatia, they have helped to plant four churches with others in the process of organizing. There are hundreds of new believers in Bosnia today. During the course of the effort, 60% of the church's teens and 40% of the church's adults have participated in short term teams serving Bosnian refugees-over 200 people. Even though this effort continued during the war and some workers were caught in the middle of shelling and gunfire, not one Northside member has been injured. The church committed to its adoption, not knowing where the funding would come from. But mission and relief agencies were willing to supply materials and funding at several junctures to support Northside's determination. The church itself gave generously, increasing its annual missions budget from $89,000 in 1990, to $635,000 in 1995. Rowell's parting words "NEVER underestimate the power of a small church."

Excerpted from "MISSION AMERICA TO ENCOURAGE ADOPTION" by Debbie Wood, Publications Director, AD2000 & Beyond Movement


From: Steve Turnage (Ekballo Mobilization Ministries) <>
Darla and I are excited about how God seems to be moving in our area in regards to Mission Mobilization. We have had a growing involvement in...helping individuals, groups, and local churches grow in their awareness of What God Is Doing, and then Finding Their Strategic Role for involvement. We are convinced that most of the mobilization in the US happens on a national level, and that many of the people in the local fellowships are totally untouched with His desire to see all peoples worshiping around the throne. As a result of many relationships with local churches, seeing the need in Arkansas, and having been equipped to mobilize, we are pursuing an even more active role in the mobilization of our "state area." In addition to this, we are actively networking with other mobilizers in the "heartland area" where God opens the door for relationships.

Our Current Status... We are serving our local church in the role of "missions pastor" at current. 3/4 of my time is devoted to mobilizing followers in our local fellowship to fulfill 5 roles -

1 - Mobilization: Challenging our fellowship to new mission vision, strategic prayer, and finding their role in the Great Commission.

2 - Sending: Challenging our fellowship to fulfill its God given role in the ministry of sending out new missionaries (specifically to teams) and to care for and support our current missionaries.

3 - Welcoming/NWA Targets: Challenging key leaders in our fellowship to penetrate unevangelized & unreached ethnic groups here in Northwest Arkansas (Internationals, Hispanics, Turks, Chinese, Muslims, Indian Hindus, Laosians, etc.).

4 - Going/World Targets & Partnerships: Challenging those who have character, skills, passion, and exhibit potential to go short-term and see if this vision/ministry experience fits what God is leading them to become as priests serving in the Kingdom of God. These people are sent to work with one of 5 missionary teams where we are investigating long-term ministry opportunities with other state/local churches.

- Our role is to help equip leaders to shepherd those who are involved in these ministry areas. Yet, the other 1/4 of our time is given to us for networking with other local churches who are growing in their involvement in world evangelization. In this mobilization ministry, we are trying to give the best resources to leaders who are hungry for reproducible tools to help their fellowship grow in its mission vision and action. We are helping whole churches experience tools like GAP (Global Access Planner - formerly MAP by ACMC/Bruce Camp), Serving As Senders (Pirolo), and Perspectives On The World Christian Movement.


IDEAS ON NEW MISSIONARY (TEAM) RECRUITMENT: We are finding many everyday people in local congregations that have what we call TMP. They have Tremendous Missionary Potential because they are willing to pray about going with a small team from their church to investigate the potential of partnership with a mission team and see if they could possibly serve on a cross-cultural team. The problem is that they and their churches are confused about the role of the individual, local congregation, and agency. The individuals are confused by the whole maze of missions, calling, how and where to get into the process of becoming a "goer." Questions like: "Where do I begin?" "What kind of training do I need?" "Who gives this training?" "I have a heart to serve the Lord, but am a qualified to be a missionary?" "God has called me to be a missionary, but I'm not sure if i'm qualified."

HOW ARE WE ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES? - We are developing some training with reproducible tools to help local church leaders find strategic focus in missions for their people to be involved in long-term ministry through a process. - We are developing some training focus and selection tools for local church leaders to use in training new missionaries from within their congregations. This is a huge need... - Third, we are trying to utilize college students and others who will go to local churches on Sunday evenings and give "caleb project" type mobilization presentations to fish for new/untapped interest in world evangelization.

In the area of agency relationship, we are encouraging local churches to investigate partnership with a missionary relationship that several area churches already have and then work with the agency of that missionary couple/team.'s support comes from 8 Arkansas churches that are associated by similar ministry mindset and people relationships.)