Here are three ways to help your church go global.
As I write, my wife Abigail is on a plane from Frankfurt to Cairo for her work with TOLI, an international microlending and poverty-relief ministry. She has been invested in mission work since our first trip to Kenya in 2001.
In other seasons of life though we had little hope of getting involved globally. We were in churches with little or no global impact. I remember looking with (godly) envy at the huge missions wall at the Baptist church where my kids played basketball wishing I could help my church get more involved.
You don't have to be a megachurch to get involved in what God is doing around the world. A church of any size can easily get going with one of these three ideas.
1. Partner with Compassion International. Encourage your church to sponsor kids from the same country. Hold dinners to talk about what you've learned about that country and your sponsored kids. At no cost to the church budget, suddenly your congregation is tied to another people and having a global impact. Organizations like Compassion and TOLI love to help churches this way.
2. Find a sister congregation. You don't have to jump on a plane to be tied to another church body in another country. Make contact. Share prayer requests. Let your people know the struggles your sister church is having, and let your sister church know how to pray for you. This simple engagement can make a huge difference.
3. Start local. More and more cities are experiencing citywide movements addressing the needs of the city. Ours is called COS I Love You and we hold an annual CityServe weekend each year. Global impact starts at your front door. Get your church involved in the needs of your city and their hearts will begin to engage with needs around the world.
Churches are local. Churches are contextual. But there is no reason why a church of any size can't have global impact for the Lord and be a blessing to people far away and very different. It becomes a root of joy to a congregation to know they are making a difference, and I think it makes God smile.
'May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.' Psalms 67:1-2