Tools to Lead Your Congregation

Finding the right tools and resources can help your congregations move forward in the right direction as you engage with your neighbors both near and far and participate in God’s continuing work in this diverse world. World Mission Initiative exists to provide those tools and help you as mission leaders lead your congregations into a more faithful and effective intercultural mission. Besides the list of resources and tools provided below, WMI also can help and be available for consultation, teaching, training, and preaching at your church when needed.

Book - Freeing Congregational Mission 

Freeing Congregational Mission addresses a deepening crisis in mission as practiced by North American congregations. Many mission activities are more effective at satisfying church members than making a lasting difference, producing what’s too often consumer-oriented “selfie mission.” These practices are not just ineffective—they deviate from mission in the way of Jesus. The book proposes a theology of companionship focused on relationships that up-end societal expectations; the kind of cultural humility evidenced by Jesus; and the insights of co-development.

The book is designed to provide a theoretical framework, practical strategies and tools to congregational mission leaders; that is, the lay and ordained leaders of U.S. evangelical, Catholic and mainline Protestant congregations who seek to lead their congregations into mission.

The book includes 7 practical tools:

  • Tool 1: What’s in a Picture? Guidelines for Representing Others Through Photography
  • Tool 2: Seeing into Our Blind Spots: Anticipating and Addressing Cultural Differences
  • Tool 3: Co-development Evaluation Tool: A Self-Check to Help Leaders Evaluate the Implications of Their Actions in Development Projects
  • Tool 4: Preparing for the Journey: Short-Term Mission Orientation Curriculum
  • Tool 5: Short-Term Mission Daily Reflection Guide
  • Tool 6: Checklist for Healthy Parish Twinning Relationships
  • Tool 7: Aligning Hearts and Hands: Connecting Mission Funding Allocations to Congregational Values

Get more information purcahse a copy of Freeing Congregational Mission.

Create a Mission Leaders’ Circle

This work is too important and difficult to do alone. After reading the book, as you consider ways to help shift the direction of your congregation’s engagement in mission, consider forming a Mission Leaders’ Circle in your congregation—or among leaders from several congregations in your area:

  • Identify potential leaders in your congregation or area (deacons, elders, council/vestry members, women’s leaders, youth leaders, pastors, mission directors, mission committee members, former missionaries—anyone who longs to engage the congregation more deeply in mission);
  • Invite the leaders to read Freeing Congregational Mission and to join you in a study group to discuss the book using the discussion questions at the end of each chapter and the book’s implications for your congregation.
  • Plan a formational “liminal experience” (a short-term mission trip, a visit to a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter) for your leaders to help them experience mission and reflect on that engagement (see chapter 8 of the book).
  • Follow up the liminal experience and reflection by talking with the circle’s participants to ascertain the strengths/assets they bring to your congregation’s engagement in mission and their needs for continued formation in mission theology, cultural proficiency/humility, and development.

Other Resources 

Check out resources that you can read yourself and recommend to your fellow leaders.