How Do We REDUCE The Number of Peoples Sitting In Darkness?
Recently, Sixteen:Fifteen rolled out a one day missions conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico called “REDUCe”. The conference was born out of a realization that many churches have replaced vision for reaching the nations with a series of unrelated projects often failing to capture people’s hearts, minds and imaginations. However, many churches are discovering that expanding the kingdom of God – and its hold on us – requires not more of us, but less:
- We must be reduced to our proper size, seeing and surrendering to God and His purposes – rather than being distracted by the many things that would compete for our attention, including our own abilities or inadequacies (Isaiah 6:1-8).
- We must reduce our definition of missions, recognizing that a loose and inclusive understanding of missions usually obscures the most essential, elusive, and difficult tasks of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
- We must reduce our mission vision, joining churches that say no to most things, attempting less, but accomplishing more. Limiting the breadth of our global mission vision allows us to increase buy-in and engagement from our congregations as they care and invest more deeply in relationships, rather than struggling to keep up with a long and diverse list of mission commitments.
For some years churches have thought, “The more missionaries we can support, the more countries they work in, the better our missions efforts will be.” Have you ever seen a world map in the foyer of a church with a pin representing each supported missionary? It seems that the goal was to get as many pins on the map as possible. The more the better!
I recently coached a church that had such a map, and though the intent of their efforts was commendable, even the church and missions leaders admitted there was a massive disconnect between the 150 missionary units supported and the members of the church. Today, this church has a clear, focused, heart grabbing, Christ-centered missions vision that is rallying her members to grab hold of God’s Global Mission in a new way. What happened? Well, they REDUCed their missions vision, and by doing less they are now doing more. The REDUCe conference consists of five presentations, each followed by a time of robust table interaction:
- Reduce Us To Our Proper Size: To Become More We Must Become Less – Matthew Ellison, Sixteen:Fifteen Church Missions Coaching
- Reduce Your Definition of Missions: To Reach the Unreached Our Definition of Missions Must Include Less – Denny Spitters, Pioneers
- Reduce Your Missions Vision: To Accomplish More We Must Attempt Less – Clint Moore, Missions Pastor, Desert Springs Church
- Reduce the Time: To Plant More Churches We Must Simplify Our Strategies – Dave Hansen, Avant Ministries
- Reduce the Size of Your Barns: To Increase Our Inheritance We Must Accumulate Less – Virgil Dugan, The Tijeras Foundation and John Moore, John Moore & Associates, Inc.
The REDUCe conference is designed for church and missions leaders who want to move from a supportive role to an active role in world missions – it is for churches who are no longer content to simply respond to funding requests but want to be more strategic.
Videos of the REDUCe conference are available for watching at 1615.org/reduce_archive/. Or join us for our LIVE REDUCe conference in Nashville, Tennessee this fall! Registration details will be coming soon so stay tuned to our events page HERE.