The word "mobilization" is a loaded word. Most simply, mobilization means "to cause something to move" as in mobilization of a joint or limb after an injury. In missions work ("missions" is of course another loaded term) mobilization means different things to different people. For some it means recruiting. For others it means mustering resources and deploying workers.
TWO TYPES OF MOBILIZATION
Max Chismon, International Director of Living Springs International and producer of the Kairos Course, notes that missions mobilization, with all of its diversity of understandings and definitions, can be broken down into two different types:
1) Prophetic: Mobilization that awakens, calls people forward, disciples, and equips people in the biblical-missional message of God's purposes and how they might participate.
2) Apostolic: Mobilization that creates practical readiness such as skill-specific training, or cultural acquisition. It also means linking or recruiting to specific opportunities or agencies and practical preparation such as support development. Apostolic mobilization creates structures for deployment and for ongoing support of workers.
It's easy to see that both kinds of mobilization are critical to the task of gospel breakthrough among all people groups. It's my conviction that Body of Christ needs much more of both. However, I find it interesting and profoundly important that many top mission agencies and leaders are discovering the need to focus much more on the first type – prophetic mobilization.
WHAT IS PROPHETIC MOBILIZATION?
By prophetic I don't mean a brand new or secret revelation from God but instead, a fresh understanding of what He has revealed from old. Prophets (such as those referenced in Ephesians 4:11) provide spiritual leadership as they combine biblical revelation with insights into the contemporary situation and then exhort the Church into relevant application. Prophetic mobilization then, engages the Church in the formation of a biblical world view and accurate understanding of the mission of God. It also guides and exhorts believers toward meaningful and strategic involvement in that mission.
Mobilization is much more than a strategy – like a strategy to reduce the number of unreached peoples on our people group lists. Instead, mobilization is the ministry of maturing the Church and preparing the Bride for the Kingdom. It's a part of God's plan to prepare God's people for works of service (Eph. 4:11-12). We must remember that mission must be understood as a movement. In other words it involves all God's people, fulfilling the biblical promises and prophecies of the ingathering of people and peoples into God's Kingdom for the sake of his Glory. Mobilization is the way we awaken and instruct the Church toward that movement.
Ultimately, we are part of story where God is at work to complete His purposes among all cultures. We must equip people in that story! Prophetic mobilizers awaken and disciple the Church to the vision of God's glory among all peoples. They call believers to understand the message of God's purposes, plan and actions. They walk alongside and coach believers to follow a lifelong journey towards full participation. They expose believers to practices, ideas and actions that best support the ultimate reality that God is bringing to pass - worship from among all peoples.
In the next blog we'll look at why prophetic mobilization is so important to the mission enterprise and what we can do to increase our prophetic voice in that movement.