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Mobilizing the Local Church

5/31/2024

The marriage of church and mission has existed since the genesis of gospel spreading when Jesus commanded his disciples to travel to all nations, and all people groups, to deliver His truth (Matthew 28:19-20). As followers of Jesus, this command applies to us as well. While organizations such as GoTEN have made this their driving purpose and commissioned people to dedicate their livelihood to this mission, the role of the local church is still absolutely crucial to the mission’s success. For the local church to miss out on the great honor of delivering the gospel to the nations would be a tragic missed opportunity to serve and connect directly with God, as well as generate some lasting relationships that are edifying to all parties involved. Most Christians have some sort of desire to be involved in cross-cultural missions, but the most common question by far is “how do I start?”. GoTEN prioritizes connecting the church with opportunities to get educated, get locally involved, go, and get to work.

We asked some church leaders to share their thoughts on what has been most impactful about connecting their church with a local missions team. Here’s what they said:

“The most impactful part of our church partnering with a local missions team like GoTEN is the confidence we feel that when we refer people to GoTEN for volunteering or training, they will be taken care of, followed up with and will grow in their engagement with the unreached. As a church, we know that we can’t fully develop those skills and passions, but we know we have a strong partner who can do it the very best.” - Lisa Horner, CCV

“When our church was called to serve refugees, we were blessed to be introduced to GoTEN. We quickly realized that GoTEN not only provides a meeting place for our people to come into contact with and serve refugees, but that GoTEN also offers high- quality training to help equip us to share Christ’s love more effectively. In addition, we have discovered that GoTEN is a partner willing to flex its approach in order to support some of the specific priorities of our outreach. We’re grateful for the GoTEN team and look forward to what the Lord will do in the second year of our journey together.” - Keith Cowan, Phoenix Bible Church

"There are a lot of big problems in the world that God calls us to engage with. Most of the time that feels overwhelming and maybe even unattainable. It’s not just overwhelming for the congregant wanting to respond to that call, it’s also overwhelming for the pastor wanting to help their congregants respond. Partnership with GoTEN has created a very accessible way for our congregants to engage with refugees in a way that actually helps and leads to people coming to Jesus. It means more opportunities for our people to follow Christ and less creative and administrative drain on our pastoral staff.” - Alec Seekins, Living Streams Church

If you are a pastor or church leader and would like to explore a partnership with GoTEN to connect your church membership to UPG (unreached people group) ministry in Phoenix, please contact us. We would love to meet with you.

For those not in pastoral positions within the church, you may be asking yourself what you, the church member, can do. There are still many ways that you can be involved directly!

Get Educated

A great place to start is learning about the background of UPGs, how God is strategically moving many of them as refugees, where they are located in your area, and how you can connect with them. It also helps to learn about their culture, what to do and what not to do to respect cultural boundaries, and also how to present the gospel in a strategic but respectful manner. GoTEN hosts frequent trainings covering all of these topics, and would love to host you!

Get Locally Involved

Church members should also look for ways to get involved locally once they’ve learned about unreached people living in their area. If you are local to Phoenix, GoTEN has numerous ministries that allow you to connect and serve alongside other volunteers. FirstServe is an event occurring 1-2 times per month that serves as an introduction to serving refugees. We highly recommend attending one to get started!

If you are not local to Phoenix, let us encourage you to explore your area to see if there are natives of unreached nations living in your community. There are almost always more than you would think! Touch base with your church leadership to see if outreaches are already in place. If nothing currently exists, you could lead it! We’ll train and equip you to help develop that connection for your church group. GoTEN is also open to expanding to other metro areas in the United States. Consider a short-term trip to Phoenix to see what we do, learn how to replicate it, and partner with us in expanding to other refugee communities in the U.S.

Go

GoTEN also offers short-term trip options for people interested in an abbreviated, but more involved experience in cross cultural ministry. Trips are an especially excellent option for those that want to be involved but are unable to connect with an unreached population in their local area. Grab some friends, your small group or community group, or even just a group of people interested in learning more about cross cultural ministry and come visit us in Phoenix. GoTEN offers week-long trips to church groups that want to experience how God is at work among our local refugee communities. Further details and a trip overview are available online.

Global trips are also scheduled throughout the year and feature visits both to our team in Asia and to partner teams serving UPGs in other regions as well. Stay tuned to our trips page for new global trip opportunities.

Get to Work

Feeling called to more involved work among the unreached? Ask God if He is calling you into a missions career. Start with an internship or temporary training with GoTEN in Phoenix. Whether you want to live and work in the refugee community in Arizona, or travel across boarders far away, we will train and send you!

If a missions career is not for you, who do you know that could be a fit for this? Who can you encourage to explore it? Church members are some of the Kingdom’s greatest mobilizers.

We are so grateful to our church partners for their belief in the mission and for their commitment to being involved. We are also thankful for everyone that volunteers their time, finances, and prayer to our activity in unreached communities. Regardless of where your passion lies, or where you live and work, GoTEN has a desire for Christians to have a hand in the advancement of the gospel among UPGs, and would love to help you be activated into the mission. Don’t wait, take that step with us today!