Four strategies for leading a church into mission

6a0133f0364d51970b0133f16090be970b-800wiCan I humbly offer four strategies for mobilizing a church for mission? I offer these in light of scripture and from the shared experience of various missional pastors. (In my last blog I offered two vital questions that occupy the life of missional pastors. There I addressed the prior question: what is the shape of the mission of the church?)

Having discussed the shape of the mission of the church, now here  are four strategies that are key in my opinion to mobilizing a local church to mission.

1. Preach for it

2. Pray for it

3. Model it

4. Worship for it

It seems to me that when all four of these things characterize a ministry, the Spirit often moves to mobilize God’s people. I now offer a brief comment on the first two—leaving the third and fourth for next time.

  • Preach for it

In my opinion the mission of Christ ought to feature in every sermon, in one way or another. I don’t mean by this that we preach on Acts Chapter 2 or the like every week. Rather, the mission of God is the direction of the whole biblical story. The biblical story from Genesis Chapter 12 onwards narrates, in light of sin’s curse, God’s recovering his good purposes for his creation and also calling a people to live as signs to his restorative reign. As the mission of God is the direction of the whole biblical story, it is rightly expressed in every sermon.

  • Pray for it

Earnest prayer for revival precedes vigorous mission. Jonathan Edwards called the church to earnest, persistent prayer for revival—Isaiah 62:6-7 was a favourite text of Edwards: give him no rest!

On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.

Reformed Baptist pastor, Eroll Hulse, named his book on revival ‘Give Him No Rest’. Hulse wrote, regarding the watchmen in Isaiah’s text: ‘They know that it is the absolute determination of the Lord whom they serve to promote the glory of his son.’

May I share a story from our own ministry? (Please share your own stories below-it would be great to hear them.) In one wonderful church in which we pastored, every Thursday morning at 6am the church was invited to our house for prayer. We never got the whole church-on these mornings five to ten people gathered. Over jam muffins and bad coffee we would pray first that the Spirit would come and purify our own worshipping community. Then we would pray for revival in our local community. After we had been praying like this for some months, one lady came up to me and said, ‘I just want to do something!’ God acts in response to our persistent prayer; and persistent prayer also creates Godly anticipation among God’s people.


About Mark Glanville

Mark Glanville is a pastor-scholar who ministers in a missional urban community, Grandview Church, Vancouver. Mark is Professor of Old Testament and congregational studies at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix (, and he teaches at Regent College, Vancouver. Mark's research focusses upon the Pentateuch, biblical ethics, and mission. Mark has authored "Adopting the Stranger as Kindred" (SBL, 2018), "Reading Exodus: Society Reshaped by Kinship" (Lexham, forthcoming), numerous refereed articles (including in the Journal of Biblical Literature (2018), Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (2019), and Refuge Journal (2013)) and chapters on the Pentateuch, mission, and refugee related issues, as well as numerous popular articles. Mark is presently co-authoring a book, "Providing Refuge: A Missional and Political Theology." Mark is called upon to speak on in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. His previous career was as a jazz pianist in Sydney, Australia (Chick Corea and Wynton Kelly are his musical heroes).
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3 Responses to Four strategies for leading a church into mission

  1. June Glanville says:

    Thanks Mark. It makes good sense and I look forward to reading the next 2 strategies. So much better now I have a clearer idea of your overall perspective.



  2. Martin Borrows says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for this post and I agree with you 100%.

    I promised you a link to one of many websites on Bible Storytelling and apologise for the delay. Here it is –

    Maureen and I are attending a 4-day workshop in June so we hope to become much more proficient after that.

    Every blessing,


    Martin and Maureen Borrows Office: 8014 6487

    Church Engagement (Sydney area) Home: 9873 6543

    Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia Mobile: 0422 628 650 Skype: martin.borrows

    Description: Description: Wycliffe_Logo_Aust (small)

  3. Pingback: Four strategies for leading a church into mission cont. | …for he has made you beautiful

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