Many churches point people toward a program when it comes to missions. We think that we are called to live attractional lives and not just invite people to attractional places (or programs). We want our lives to be Gospel witnesses, both with our words and our deeds. This is why we think that the most powerful and effective way to share Christ with Greenwood is to live with a missionary mindset wherever we live, work, or play. Equipped to speak the Word of God in our everyday context, we are a powerful force for good. We are a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
WHAT IS OUR LOCAL MISSIONS STRATEGY?
Our strategy to accomplish this locally is three-fold, through strategic Gospel-centered partners, through the everyday lives of the members of North Side, and through an initiative called Catalyze.
Our desire is to free every one of our members up to pursue missions with their daily lives. To ignite this idea, we started an initiative called Catalyze. In the first century church, Luke tells us, “A complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution” (Acts 6:1 ESV). Instead of the apostles saying, “We will take care of this.” They came up with an idea to empower others within the church. This plan did not distract from the teaching of the word or prayer, but it propelled the mission of the church.
The Apostle Paul explained something similar in his letter to the Ephesians. God “gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV). Who is doing ministry there? The saints. The work of the ministry happens primarily in the congregation, not merely among the paid staff of the church.
How this plays out practically with our church is by distinguishing between three different relationships we have toward various ministries —those we own; those we catalyze; and those we bless. To “own” a ministry means we staff and resource it directly and holistically. Those we “bless” are those we know our members are engaged in, but as an institution we have little interaction with them other than the occasional encouragement.
But the third category, “catalyze,” is where we want to put most of our energy and money. When we catalyze something, we identify members with ideas and ask them to lead us. We come alongside them, adding our resources, networking power, etc. We serve them. This will lead to a catalyzed people that are empowered to do the work of the ministry. It will give the mission back to the people and the gates of hell will not be able to stand against it.
WHAT ARE THE 3 CATEGORIES OF MINISTRIES AT NORTH SIDE?
Own: Those ministries that we as an institutional church staff, resource, and promote completely. Examples of these are small groups, church planting, overseas missions, Sunday morning gatherings.
Bless: Those ministries that we as an institutional church have no involvement with other than encouragement. We certainly want to bless these efforts, but we do not involve ourselves financially or invest any time in them.
Catalyze: Those ministries that we partner with the individual or team in an effort to launch and sustain a long-term sustainable ministry. We do not own it by running the ministry, but we may provide financial support or leverage promotional energy toward it. Examples of Catalyzed ministries include our Men’s Ministry, our Ministry to Internationals, and our Prison Ministry, We want to see this grow. We can’t do everything, but we are convinced that as a people, collectively we can do something big.
OUR LOCAL MINISTRY PARTNERS
Find out specific ways to serve these local ministries by contacting David Nalley, Missions Mobilizer.