Our convictions have great bearing on priorities, direction, and decisions. The following are our core convictions concerning the Great Commission, our role in seeing it fulfilled and our focus as a network and movement.
1. Our great, overriding passion and conviction is that God’s Name be displayed as great among the nations
(Malachi 1:11) and that Jesus must receive His due worship from every people group on the planet!
2. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ, as expressed through the local church, is the hope of all the people groups of the world. The core issue in missions, therefore, is access to the gospel as expressed through a local fellowship of believers.
3. We believe the completion of the Great Commission is a binding obligation on the whole Church of Jesus Christ today. It is the duty of every local church to do its part to take the good news to peoples who have not heard and who do not have access to it. We believe God will always supply His church with sufficient resources (people, finances, etc.) to complete the task of the Great Commission.
4. We believe prayer to be foundational to all that the Lord desires to accomplish in the world. It is critical for those on the front lines of pioneer mission efforts to be covered and supported by regular, fervent intercession. Prayer, as one person has accurately stated, is not important to the work, “it is the work!”
5. Incarnational missions is essential. Although there may be some effective non-personal means of cross-cultural work, there is no substitute for living among a people, teaching the Gospel to them, and living out faith before them. God sent his own Son to became flesh and dwell among us (John 1:1, 14; 3:16). In many of the contexts in which we seek to work, “tentmaking,” that is, working as a paid professional in some capacity in the host culture, will likely be necessary for those who go cross-culturally as missionaries.
6. We believe the primary focus of the Great Commission is on peoples or people groups (panta ta ethne = “all
ethnic groups”), not geo-political countries as they are known today.
7. We believe church planting is the primary work in missions. Establishing vibrant local fellowships of Christ-followers is the primary means of fulfilling the Great Commission as taught in the Scriptures and should, therefore, be a priority in our efforts to reach the unreached. We believe this to be the New Testament model. It is in the context of the local fellowship that disciples are made, baptized, and the ongoing command of “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded” occurs. We are not in the business of building buildings—our focus is discipling people!
8. We believe that the equipping of indigenous church leaders is critical to the multiplication of vibrant local fellowships and must accompany any discipleship movement. God gave gifted apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers to build up the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). We are called to mentor and equip such ministers.
9. We believe missions should be rooted in community. The Great Commission can only be fulfilled through cooperation of the Body of Christ throughout the world. There is no room for competition, territorialism, or personal, organizational, or denominational castle-building. We are seeking to build God’s Kingdom, not ours! We believe those who are sent out should do so in a team context. Having a team on the field gives automatic support, community, accountability, and other advantages. We will endeavor to send out teams as Jesus and the early church exemplified in the New Testament.
10. We believe true missions is costly. We live in a fallen world that is at enmity with God and opposes His truth; therefore, missions and suffering go hand in hand. Any advancement of the kingdom of Christ into the darkness will be met with warfare (Acts 26:17-18).
11. We believe mission efforts should be strategically focused. We must focus on what God has specifically called us to do. We cannot get involved in everything. Often, the good is the enemy of the best. We must strategically focus our efforts and see each commitment as part of an integrated whole of our vision.