From Our Neighborhood
To The Nations
A strategic Short-Term Missions Manual
About The Book
Preaching the gospel and making new disciples must remain the priority of the local church. The Great Commission is not a calling for some — it is a mandate for all. When it comes to this calling, we don’t need a voice: we have a verse (Matthew 28:19). As world missionary evangelist Mel Tari of Iris Ministries says, “Let Jesus’ last words become our first priority.”
God is using short-term missions to awaken the church worldwide. If we listen closely to God’s heart, we will hear His voice beckoning us to join Him in the harvest field. As Jesus told His disciples, “The harvest is huge and ripe. But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to drive out into his harvest fields many more workers” (Luke 10:2 TPT).
This training manual is designed for anyone passionate for world missions to help them release short-term missionaries, particularly from the local church. A one-stop shop for research, inspiration, and strategic training, this book provides practical information for building a short-term missions program. Applying these principles will not only help church leaders start a world-class missions program but will also help them become more apostolic in all areas of ministry.
In this new book, my good friend Theresa Jones shares a contagious passion to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission. If you want to see your faith sparked into action, From Our Neighborhood to the Nations will take you to higher levels of effectiveness in ministry, especially when it comes to short-term missions. Get ready to see a historic move of God as we advance into the harvest fields together!
Dr. Ché Ahn
President, Harvest International Ministry
The Missionary God
Building a Vision for Missions Ministry
The Nuts and Bolts of a STM Program
Sharing the Gospel
Demonstrating the Gospel
The Missionary God
“Whoever receives you receives Me, and whoever Receives Me receives the One who sent Me.” (Matthew 10:40 TPT)
God is a missionary. This is the central theme and plot of the Bible. God Himself is the main character of the story, and He has a mission: to redeem the greatest tragedy in history—the fall of His lost sons and daughters into spiritual bondage to his enemy—by sacrificing everything to reconcile and restore us back to Himself. Through this grand rescue, He does not merely intend to free us from slavery to sin and death, but to fashion us into a Bride for His Son, who will rule and reign with Him on earth for eternity. There is no greater romance or epic adventure than God’s story!
To fulfill this mission, God sends. The rescue plan culminates with the Father sending His Son Jesus to go to the cross, purchase the forgiveness of our sin through His death, and restore us to new life through His resurrection.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19-20 NKJV)
At the cross, Jesus reclaimed the throne of the world from the devil, pushing back the kingdom of darkness and unleashing the presence of His kingdom to spread slowly yet steadily across the earth, like an ever-growing mustard seed and ever-expanding leaven. Even before He even went to the cross, Jesus was demonstrating His victory over the enemy by “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38), and announcing the arrival of His kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15 NKJV). To fulfill this part of His mission, He sent twelve and then seventy on short-term regional mission trips to announce the kingdom, heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse lepers, and raise the dead (Matthew 10:7-8). “As the Father has sent Me,” Jesus told them, “even so I am sending you” (John 20:21 NKJV).
Christ finished the other part of His mission—triumphing over sin, sickness, and death—at the cross, but His mission to announce the arrival of His kingdom was far from over. The Father had opened the door for all people across the globe to be reconciled to Him and experience new life in His kingdom, but those people couldn’t walk through that door without knowing it was there!
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15 NKJV, my emphasis)
Jesus told His disciples, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NKJV). This is the current stage of God’s mission––preaching the gospel of the kingdom to the end of the earth. Once again, He is fulfilling this mission by sending. Who is He sending? Us! This is why Jesus sent His Spirit to make us His witnesses: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Act 1:8 NKJV).
It is not only apostolic leaders with the gift of preaching who are responsible to carry the gospel message to the ends of the earth. The role of apostolic leaders is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph. 4:12, my emphasis). These “sent ones” (biblical Greek: apostolos means “sent one”) are not only to go, but also to prepare others to be sent. Every believer who has been reconciled to the Father and entered into new life in His Spirit is an ambassador for Christ and minister of reconciliation:
Now all things [are] of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore [you] on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NKJV)
Writer and theologian Joseph Mattera says, “The main purpose of Jesus dying on the cross was not so that you can go to heaven. The main purpose of His death was so that His Kingdom can be established in you so that, as a result, you can exercise Kingdom authority on the earth and reconcile the world back to Him.” This is God’s mission, and this is our mission.
The Church and God’s Mission
The church, specifically the local church, is at the center of God’s plan for fulfilling His mission to carry the gospel of the kingdom to the ends of the earth and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is why apostolic missionaries, from the apostle Paul to today, have not simply focused on making converts, but on planting churches to fulfill a twofold purpose: 1) gathering and training disciples in practicing the way of Jesus together, and 2) sending them out to be salt and light in the world and make more disciples. Apostolic leaders understand that the Great Commission was given to every individual Christian, but it is primarily facilitated through local churches via the training and equipping the saints for the work of ministry.
Every leader in the body of Christ must understand that God did not come up with a mission for His church as much as He formed a church for His mission. Today, many local churches have lost clarity and focus in their mission to equip every believer to partner with the missio Dei—God’s mission in the earth. As a result, many of our churches are leading people to be more like “fans” of Jesus than true “followers.” The body of Christ doesn’t need more spectators; we need participators who will answer the call: “Here I am. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV). We need true disciples who will go out and make disciples.
Thankfully, there is a missional renaissance taking place that is changing the way the people of God think about God and the world. The Holy Spirit is restoring the original apostolic paradigm for understanding the mission of the local church and the responsibility for every believer to be equipped for ministry. We are beginning to recover the truth that every follower of Christ is called to be a missionary, because that is what it means to become like the One we follow. As missionary Henry Marytn declared, “The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to Him the more intensely missionary we must become.”
Our Neighborhood to the Nations is a practical book containing much helpful advise and training to establish short-term Mission trips from the Local Church. You will be equipped in Leading Someone to the Lord / Salvation, Healing ministry, Deliverance Ministry, Spiritual Warfare and other strategic training to become more missional and apostolic.
The Spirit of God is doing a powerful work in the global church in this season, as He is empowering us to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In this new book, my good friend Theresa Jones shares a contagious passion to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission. If you want to see your faith sparked into action, From Our Neighborhood to the Nations will take you to higher levels of effectiveness in ministry, especially when it comes to short-term missions. Get ready to see a historic move of God as we advance into the harvest fields together!
Theresa Jones’ From Our Neighborhood to the Nations is a practical book containing much helpful advice and training to establish short term missions trips from local churches. Theresa is ordained by the Apostolic Network of Global Awakening and recently received her doctorate in apostolic leadership from Wagner University. I recommend Theresa and I highly recommend her book for its conciseness and practical training for ministry trips in healing and deliverance, as well as how to form and lead teams to the nations. Why invent the wheel when Theresa has already prepared a wheel for your use? Theresa has not merely written a “how to” manual, but a book that is faith-building and points to what supernatural ministry trips can be like. Her personal stories of miracles on short-term mission trips are faith-building and encouraging.
I have been reading ministry-related books literally for decades. I have written ministry-related books, ghostwritten ministry-related books, and edited ministry-related books. They generally fall into two broad categories: how to do ministry and how to support ministry. In From Our Neighborhood to The Nations, Dr. Jones has accomplished something truly rare. She has written a book that not only falls into both categories but also excels in both categories. Neighborhood to the Nations moves us from our living room couch to the mission field, packs our suitcase and prepares our heart, and raises our consciousness to other cultures even as we bring the culture-shifting power of the gospel to others. It is all the book you will ever need to move from a decision to go on a mission trip to changing lives, beginning with your own, on a mission trip. It is a keeper!
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