NIPPING HEELS Mobilizers keep the flock focused

Mobilization. Ask a dozen GCOWE delegates what it is and you will get various responses. Everyone agrees that it is important. In fact, it is the key to accomplishing our goals. The question is--What is it?

A short definition might be "directing focus toward obeying the Great Commission." Longer definitions could be constructed to gather all the many facets of a mobilizer, but they are of little value as communication tools.

Resisting the temptation to squander our limited time together discussing missiological terminology, it is better to paint a portrait of the person who is a mobilizer, for that is what we all are called to be.

When our church leaders become scatterbrained and fret like Martha with her many dishes, the mobilizer points at the Great Commission and says "only one thing is necessary." When parachurch boards and church missions committees design shotgun-spray budgets, the mobilizer speaks for the hopeless in the 10/40 window and says "Come over and help us." Mobilizers are patient. Mobilizers are kind. They do not lift up themselves, but Jesus Christ and his gospel to the ends of the earth.

The mobilizer circles the flock like a sheepdog, often nipping at heels to keep the sheep moving toward the goal. The mobilizer is a schoolmarm tipping chins toward the message on the blackboard "Go ye."

Dr. John Richard described a mobilizer's job when he said: "to create a holy discontent."

As with all other Christian work, the mobilizers job begins with prayer. But George Verwer, in the Mobilizing New Missionaries Track said that consistent faithful prayer for God to send forth laborers to the harvest is still lacking, even on the mission field. In the same track, Rev. Walo Ani of Papua New Guinea described his mobilization efforts. In 1982, he met with five others to pray regularly for the spread of the gospel. This tiny prayer meeting grew rapidly until it became a movement, conducting training, camps, prayer and short term missions.

Perhaps this is why the Lord has placed GCOWE '95 in Korea. If delegates have observed nothing else about the Korean church, they have learned that it prays.

The Rev. Dr. Hah, Yong Jo, for example, has called his 8,000-member Seoul church to join every morning for two hours to pray that the Lord will bring forth 2,000 missionaries from his congregation by the year 2,000. What is even more remarkable is that he is calling them, not to a month commitment, or even a year commitment, but to a lifetime commitment to this two hours daily of corporate focused prayer toward mobilizing these 2,000. So far, over 800 have answered his call and begun to meet at his Onnuri Presbyterian Church each morning.

Mobilizing sounds easier than it is. George Verwer noted that for many if not most Christians, the 10/40 window is not a priority, perhaps not even a concern. In a generation concerned with building cocoons of relaxation and safety, mobilizing to send troops to parts of the world which are neither safe nor physically relaxing puts the mobilizer in the lunatic fringe. The mobilizer is usually unfunded, often frustrated and rarely thanked. Delegate Susantra Patra of India said that mobilizers often "get no results except discouragement and eternal rewards." But through diligent effort, in his own state of Bengal, the missions have grown 200%.

The going may be tough, but mobilizers are a crucial corps in God's army if we are to reach the goal of "A Church for Every People and the Gospel for Every Person by AD2000."

Taking It Home

All of us can mobilize. Here are some practical steps you can take as you leave GCOWE '95:

1) Pray daily for God to lead you in multiplying in others the vision he has entrusted to you, and for others to similarly multiply themselves.

2) Pursue avenues for distribution of the final press release to be distributed to all delegates at the closing session of GCOWE '95.

3) Purchase Operation World and subscribe to the Global Prayer Digest and Mission Frontiers (available from the U.S. Center for World Mission) to refresh yourself daily with vision, awareness, understanding and material to share with others. Invite others to pray with you over the material, and to follow your model.

4) Work to make the Perspectives missions course available in your country. For details write Institute of International Studies, 1605 E. Elizabeth St., Pasadena, CA 91104.

5) Loan (don't give) mission materials like the GCOWE '95 Vision Video to friends and pastors. (By loaning you retain the right to check up on whether they have reviewed the material, and you can reuse the material with others.)

6) Lead a group Bible study on the Biblical concept of nations, and God's purpose in relation to them.

7) Gather for prayer with others who have the same vision. Work together to multiply mission awareness and vision in your locality.

8) Help to organize and conduct regional and national followup consultations to clarify the remaining research needs in your area, and to plan strategies to reach the common goal: "A Church for Every People and the Gospel for Every Person by AD2000."

This material is distributed courtesy of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement and the Global Consultation On World Evangelization (GCOWE) '95. GCOWE '95 is drawing national Christian leaders from 200 nations to Seoul Korea between May 17 and 25, 1995. Sixty percent of the delegates represent nations outside of Europe and North America. Their stated goal is to work together on strategies for A Church for Every People and the Gospel for Every Person by AD 2000.

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