In the last blog we explained that prophetic mobilization is an important type of missions mobilization that awakens and calls people forward then disciples and equips them in the biblical-missional message of God's purposes and how they might participate. This type of mobilization is different from apostolic mobilization which focuses more on practical skill-specific training, cultural acquisition, onboarding to agencies or deployment and support of workers.
Why prophetic mobilization is so critical
1. Many mission leaders are rightly concerned that individuals are coming into our agencies and organizations unformed. People who aren't formed in Christ and his purposes are at best ineffective and at worst unqualified.
2. Prophetic mobilization prevents monopolization of ministry by a few missions activists and causes multiplication of effort throughout the Body.
3. When the believers are awakened through prophetic mobilization, they move in their gifts and creativity to build things that help the mission cause. That is, they eventually build the necessary apostolic structures for apostolic mobilization. These new structures are also then healthier and more strategic.
4. Prophetic mobilizers add value to the local church as they help disciple and mature believers to participate in the world Christian movement. This gives credibility and visibility of mission to sometimes skeptical church leadership.
5. Many local churches and agencies are rapidly building mission structures and engaging in projects that may not be helpful in fulfilling the core biblical mandate(s) for God's mission. In fact some projects, though well intended and popular, are downright harmful. Prophetic mobilizers are voices of wisdom and guidance and help us move towards strategic thinking and obedience.
6. Max Chismon writes, "In Christian theology we have erred by attempting to learn about God separately from mission. The Jewish people always learnt about God and God's will in the context of mission - their journey with God as God, through them, outworked his missional purpose among the nations".i Prophetic mobilization appropriately integrates mission and traditional discipleship/theology.
Increasing our Prophetic voice
There are many things we can do to elevate the prophetic function in mobilization. Here are just a few suggestions:
1. Form or join prophetic communities whose sole purpose is to catalyze, equip and awaken the Church in God's mission purposes.
2. Local churches should make missions education and mobilization a normal part of their discipleship program.
3. Mission agencies should provide mission coaching and not just mission recruiting when relating to mission candidates. Fortunately, many agencies are recognizing the need to build into people so that they can participate well in biblical mission no matter what agency they may join.
4. Free up mission program administrators to be more focused on the prophetic mobilization. For example, many college "mission mobilizers" and church mission committee members are so distracted by trip planning and project logistics that they aren't equipping people in God's heart for the nations, the world Christian lifestyle/habits, or strategic mission practice.
5. Be cautious about getting overly wrapped up in the formation of new strategies or structures. Structures and programs often make us look and feel good but we need to remain diligent and intentional about preserving a prophetic function in our missions work.
6. Promote stewardship of the biblical and missional message through exploration, research, study, listening and gleaning. Key goals should include the generation and articulation of best thoughts and best practices.
7. Build and manage groups, networks, events, classes that educate on God's global purposes, biblical story and mission.
I've been asked why the Perspectives Course has been so effective in mobilizing the church. It's effective because it clearly articulates an overall prophetic message! It allows people the time and space to wrestle with and explore the most essential and mission critical themes from biblical, historical, cultural and strategic vantage points. Then it challenges them live it out. May many more expressions of prophetic mobilization, arise within the Church! The result will be a vast fertile soil of God's people, ready to live out God's purposes – till all is completed.
Check out more info and register for Perspectives classes here: http://www.perspectives.org/