Becoming Global

Becoming Global: Integrating global mission and your local church

SMBC Press, 2011, $15.00, 138 pp. ISBN 978-0-646-56227-8

“For more than 20 years, Bruce has worked with local churches in the development of their mission program.  During those years he has created and taught a range of undergraduate and graduate Bible College courses relating to the mission responsibility of the local church.  Becoming Global, the product of his consulting and teaching, is intended for church leaders and mission enthusiasts in local churches of all denominations.  Building on a biblical theology of mission, this book provides local churches with biblically informed, practical steps for extending their global ministry in ways appropriate to the size and structure of their particular church.”

“. . . it addresses all the right issues, applying biblical truth in intensely practical ways.”

                  – Richard Utber, Senior Pastor, Nowra Baptist Church

 “. . . a valuable resource for churches, leaders and pastors who want to see their church becoming more involved and effective in world mission.”

                 – Johan Linder, Australia National Director, OMF International

 “Demonstrating biblical principles and offering brilliant ministry suggestions, Becoming Global transforms what we do as a church, and why we do it.”

                  – Desmond Chu, Mission Team Chair, West Sydney Chinese Christian Church         

Each chapter concludes with sections on Issues to think about, Ministry ideas to consider, and Resources to consult.  The book contains numerous ministry tools that can be copied and used in the local church context.

Chapters include ‘Change is on the agenda’, ‘Exposing the biblical foundations’, ‘Creating a culture of mission’, ‘Prayer as mission work’, ‘Called, sent or dragged?’, ‘Faith and finance’.

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Phone:  (02) 9747 4780

Fax:  (02) 9747 5053

Mail:    SMBC Press, PO Box 83, Croydon NSW 2132, Australia

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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Resources


Biblical theology rather than great commission command?

It only takes a quick browse through some books on global mission to realise the huge emphasis in recent decades on the ‘Great Commission’ – aka, Matt 28:18-20.  But is such an emphasis actually helpful to the cause of world mission?  It is certainly an important passage, but has it been given such prominence in mission thinking that the rest of Scripture is read within its shadow?  In particular, has the emphasis on ‘Go’ become an instrument of motivation by guilt?  And has that same emphasis also disenfranchised and discouraged many Christians who have very genuine reasons why they cannot consider moving out to another part of the world?

Biblical exegetes become nervous with the ‘Go’ emphasis, given that the central imperative in the passage is ‘make disciples’.  Not to mention the reduction of Christ’s statement of all authority to the level of an assurance for us as we go, rather than recognising it as a radical statement of divine sovereignty and of the victory gained at the cross, before which we should yield our lives, our purpose, our decisions, our activity.

But in this reflection, I want to think particularly of the area of motivation for involvement in mission, the ministry of mobilisation as some would designate it.  If we are keen to see more Christians gain a global perspective and become world Christians, is an emphasis on the great commission adequate?  Or do we need to move in to a biblical theology mode and look at mission in the context of the whole of Scripture.  Such an approach will take us back to Genesis and introduce us to a God who from the beginning had the whole world in his thinking – as in Gen 12:1-3 for example.  It will show us a God who had that world in view as he acted on behalf of his people – Exod 9:15-16 being a case in point.  And as we proceed on through the Old Testament, to 1 Kings 8:41-43, Psalm 67, Isa 49:6 & 66:18-21, it will show us a God who is global in his thinking, whose heart pulsates with a desire to be known by all people.

Such a study of the Old Testament also lays the groundwork for Jesus’ awareness for his own sentness and for his desire to send his own people out in to the world.  It is the outworking of the heart and mind of God, of his desire to be known and worshipped.  And as the Spirit works in us to make us more like Christ, so our hearts and minds must be shaped more like his.  The desire of God to be known thus becomes part of our nature, both as individual Christians and as the body of Christ.  And so mission finds its basis primarily in who we are, rather than in our activity.  And who we are, our nature as Christians, finds its expression in what we do, whether that is going to another part of the world or to a sector of our community, or taking on the ministry of prayer, or being God’s instrument for him to provide finances.

It is God’s mission.  It finds its basis in who he is.  And as we follow this through Scripture, it provides an incredible perspective on the continuity of God’s purpose.  And it gives us a solid reminder that all that is achieved in ministry around the world is because of his grace, not our activity.  As the recipients of his saving grace, it is here that we find our reason and guidance for life – in his gracious heart and mind.  The motivation for mission thus finds its basis in the nature of God and the relationship we have with him.  So to be a mobiliser means to be a Bible teacher, which gives us the unending pleasure and privilege of introducing people to the mind and personality of God as he sets it out in his word.

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Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Bible basis of mission


Prayer, the work of mission

Prayer, the work of mission

You know how easily it rolls off the tongue.  “I’ll pray for you.”  It can almost appear as an obligatory way to conclude a discussion with a missionary.  But so often it turns out to be a promise of the moment, elbowed quietly to one side by the pressures of life.  All that remains is a residue of guilt that causes a moment of discomfort at the next encounter with the missionary some years later.

This not, of course, true of every Christian, and many of us have experienced the wonder of having people pray for you every day.  But there remains a need to motivate and assist more Christians to pray for gospel work around the world.  With that in mind, I wonder if part of the problem is that we have too low a view of the role of prayer in mission.

Read Rom 15:30.  Do you notice that Paul doesn’t ask the Christians at Rome to pray for him or to pray for his struggle, but rather to join him in his struggle, through prayer.  Join me in mission, he says, not by physically coming here, but by prayer.  That is a very high view of prayer.  He is calling them to do mission by prayer, not just to pray for mission.  Paul has the same high view of prayer when he writes to the church at Philippi (Phil 1:19).  He acknowledges that things will work out for good because of ‘your prayers and the help given by the Spirit’.  He is happy to speak of their prayers and the work of the Spirit in the one phrase.

What view of prayer are we teaching?  Do we need to find ways of communicating a more biblical view of prayer as an aspect of the work of mission?

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Posted by on December 5, 2009 in Prayer