Why Are Mission Mobilizers Crucial?
Below are some thoughts from our founder Dr. Ralph Winter on the unique calling and role of a mission mobilizer.
A Morass of Disobedience
It is evident that the World Christian Movement has moved forward by a dedicated few calling the church to its central mission. Over the centuries the Church has occasionally exhibited powerful passion for Christ's global cause, and then, within a few years, sunk into a self-absorbed morass of disobedience.
Local Churches Need Skilled Heart Transplants
Congregations which have set their heart on other things need a heart transplant! How would you like to have a heart transplant done by an untrained person? Unthinkable!
Transplanting a heart is too important to leave to an untrained person. But, the task of reaching the nations is the most important task which God has assigned to His Church.
And this requires transplanting a heart of vision and understanding in order to do it right.
A mission mobilizer owes it to the church and the nations to acquire the skill and knowledge necessary to help do an effective heart transplant of vision and understanding.
Fewer Mobilizers Means Fewer Missionaries
This is equally true of the role of a field missionary. The mobilizer who stays home may need to learn about more parts of the world, but the missionary needs different tools.
Missionary skills are different.
Mobilizers and missionaries have two very different kinds of jobs, both of them essential-equally essential-to the World Christian Movement.
Many people unthinkingly equate "missions" with missionaries.
But there would be few missionaries unless there were also intensely committed and skilled mobilizers.
They Stay So Others May Go
The famous "Cambridge Seven" stayed home long enough-a whole year-to visit the universities of England before they went out to China.
Who knows, perhaps 500 missionaries went out because of their pre-field work as mobilizers!
C. T. Studd's older brother never did go as a missionary. But he went from campus to campus in the United States and, among other things, persuaded John R. Mott to go to the Mt. Hermon meeting.
What if that had not happened?
Or, what if John R. Mott had decided to be a missionary rather than a mobilizer?
Probably no two people in history are traceably responsible for more missionaries going to the field than Mott and another SVM student, Robert E. Speer, who also stayed home to be a full-time mobilizer.
A Comprehensive View of Global Needs
But were they qualified to do that without field experience?
Oh, they eventually traveled all over the world. In fact, they gained a more comprehensive view of global needs than was possible for any one missionary. Mott could plan and lead the 1910 meeting at Edinburgh in a way no missionary was qualified to do.
Willingness To Go Means They Are Qualified To Stay
But they had signed the pledge to go. That meant that they were qualified to stay-if only because they were willing to go! Note, however, if they had not been willing to go they would not have been spiritually qualified to stay. Why? Because those who are not willing to stay, if that is God's will, are not-and cannot-be qualified to go!
A Spiritual Calling
Yes, being a mobilizer is just as much a spiritual calling as being a missionary. After all, missions is a cause, not just a career. In the end, as we shall see, a mobilizer needs to know a whole lot of things a missionary does not usually know. And vice versa.
Chief Reminding Officer
But, beware! Just as missionaries face special problems in their cross-cultural work, so do mobilizers.
In some ways it is much more difficult to be a mobilizer.
Most churches will not readily support mobilizers.
Or, worse still, they can "survive" missionary letters but it is too much to have to cope with resident, local mobilizers, constantly reminding them of their global obligations!
What about you?
Do you support the work of a mission mobilizer?
If so, thank you!
Or, are you one that God may be calling to be a mobilizer?
Let us know in the comments below.