Leadership Obstacles for Missions Pastors
1 Communication, Education, and Motivation
- We are so overloaded with information and our church has so many programs, that keeping missions and missionaries in front of people and making it receivable by them is very challenging.
- We must constantly teach new church leaders, mission team leaders and finally new church members our philosophy of missions.
- We need to break out of the silo of missions and have every single department, ministry area, incorporate missions into their fabric.
- Motivating the congregation to be personally involved rather than passively supportive is a big job.
2 Inadequate Views of Missions
- Most view missions as one of the 125 ministries of the church. Missions is viewed as one of the many programs, not the purpose of the church
- We see so many needs in our town and we hear Acts 1:8 as "Jerusalem or Judea or Samaria or to the Ends of the earth".
- There is a scarcity mentality: if we give to them, there won't be enough for us.
- There is a stigma toward the word "missions.
3 Busyness, Schedules and Time (Congregation and Missions Pastor)
- The over commitment and busyness of the congregation makes missions just one more good thing. They are too overwhelmed to get personally involved in kingdom work.
- Like most missions pastors, I wear several hats. It is easy for things like study, planning, and pasturing missionaries to be squeezed out by the barrage of e-mails, voice mails, and local church issues clamoring for immediate attention.
4 Ignorance and Apathy
- There is a lack of understanding of God's heart for the nations.
- It is a battle to awaken Christians from theory and theology to their real identity and calling as God's agents of transformation in the world.
- The congregation is oblivious to missions. They have determined "go ye . . ." does not apply to them and are uninterested in finding out any more.
- The senior leadership of the church does not support missions. The senior pastor does not demonstrate a passion for world evangelization.
- Missions is only brought up when the missions department has a missions Sunday. Otherwise, it is never taught from the pulpit.
6 Competition with other priorities
- As our church gets bigger, there is growing competition for funding and personnel resources from all the new staff and developing ministries.
- In a larger church our message is diluted by all the other "competing voices."
- Finding help in our Sunday School children's department takes precedence over concern for 170 leaders arrested in China.
7 Strategy and Change
- It is difficult to say no to many good things in order to focus on the best things.
- People prefer the old way to changing church-mission paradigms to become more effective in the work of the kingdom.
- There is resistance to reshaping a strategy that seems well entrenched and accepted by a group of knowledgeable, dedicated servants.
8 Finances and Funding
- We are surviving some tough economic times.
- There is a shortage of available resources for strategic ministries.
9 Missions Team
- Maintaining and developing an effective team requires particular leadership skills.
- Keeping volunteers effectively engaged without burning out is challenging.
- Recruiting and orienting constantly changing members is stretching.
- Perhaps the greatest obstacle is our growing disenchantment with the world. Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Palestinian conflict undermine our confidence that Christianity is making an impact on the world.
Source: ACMC Great Lakes Survey of Missions Pastors, September, 2003