Kingdom people living by kingdom principles: the call of missions, a holistic approach

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As pastor of Bethel Temple of Praise, Yonkers, NY I have become aware that our church is not reaching the immediate community. There appears to be a narrow view of the mission of our church. I have developed a Pilot Program that will increase awareness as to how our church can apply a missional theology in order to challenge the Church to rediscover its Biblical call to holistic ministry. This project draws from Biblical models and principles that are applicable in any context.
The challenge to be truly missional requires that persons consider themselves to be disciples, and begin to engage their communities in their everyday life, to be incarnate. This has posed a challenge to the church and seeks to answer the question: how will missions and being missional in the 21st century be any different from the Colonial Periods? The challenges that seem to be facing the Yonkers churches are similar to those which face the North American Churches. Some of these challenges are diversity of the harvest, an increasingly large harvest, lack of harvesters, lack of focus in the Church, a dying Church and an unclear presentation of the Gospel. In the Book of Luke chapter 10 verse 2 it reads, “And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
This was Jesus’ view of the many souls that were not saved. This picture is true today of the North American Church and begs the question “Has the Church lost its focus of the Great Commission?” Many churches are declining, and even dying, while the ‘unchurched’ population is increasing. Ed Stetzer and Mike Dobson state that three denominations - Assemblies of God, Nazarene, and Southern Baptists - all reported a decline in their membership. While many churches in these denominations are growing the greater portion is declining.

We do not have to travel miles and overseas to some foreign country to locate the mission field. Right here, literally in our backyards, the world has come to us, as Sadiri Joy Tira, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization senior associate for Diasporas, said, “The world has become borderless.” The next challenge that Jesus identified was that the laborers are few (Luke 10:2). Many churches lack disciples or self-feeders (Christ-centered persons) that are harvesters. According to Ed Stetzer and Mike Dobson in the book entitled Come Back Churches, 70 to 80 percent (70-80%) of North American Churches are in decline and 3,500 to 4,000 U.S. churches close their doors every year. To be truly missional requires a holistic approach that includes the Great Commandment, Great Commission and the Great Compassion, this I call “The Circle of Mission”. It is about ministering to the total person and requires an investment into person’s lives of our time and our finance.  
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