David Mays, ACMC
· 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.
· 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."
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· We are surviving some tough economic times.
· There is a shortage of available resources for strategic ministries.
· 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