Mission experiences have taken on a new light at Lifepoint, the “Sending Church”. Following a Sacred Gathering event in 2008 of fasting, prayer and gatherings each night for 3 nights, LifePoint felt the calling to become a sending church, ‘being the church where there is no church’. Over the last few years God has been leading us to offer more and more mission experiences to further live out this calling. As we offered mission experiences, individuals became passionate about a certain country. We have a team that continually prays for and visits Africa, another team is passionate about Haiti, another Brazil, Bangkok, Belgium and one developing for South Asia.
Over the three years people have felt called to not only experience the work of God in these places via a short-term mission experience, but actually sell out and move to one of these locations or even start a LifePoint church campus in these areas.
The core teams for each of these locations have become a Small Group. They still practice Discipleship, Community and Service and come under the leadership of LifePoint’s GroupLife Division. They have a Coach, a Coordinator, a Communication Report for sharing how they are doing life together each week. These groups meet for training, service: collecting supplies, planning trips, training others who plan to participate in mission experiences, and having community as they test recipes from other countries or have prayer services for the teams who are traveling.
As we send out teams to start campuses, one of the first things they do to impact the country is start small groups. By being involved in their community they begin an apprenticing plan that we hope will lead to more small groups. These groups all worship together on a weekly basis.
At the same time, here’s the strategy we encourage our groups to use in reaching people around them:
1. Invest in people by praying daily by name for them.
2. Invite them to something: a meal, party, etc.
3. Introduce them to others who know Christ.
4. Include them in the small group.
This is a simple strategy for mission that be believe in. Are there small groups in your church which you could help have mission experiences? Are there mission experiences God has been showing you that you could invite someone from your small group to go experience with you? As Henry Blackaby said: “Watch for God at work around you. When you see him working, that is your invitation to join him.”