Every organization is built upon its own deep commitments and values. We describe ours in a Mission Handbook. These commitments and values are well represented by the following distinctive emphases and strategic priorities.
Download: Distinctive Emphases (Brochure)
Power of Prayer
"We are committed to pray, as Jesus commands his followers in Matthew 9:38 – 'Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.' Indeed, we are not primarily a missionary-sending organization. We are a praying 'league', a community of men and women who are committed to prayer as a key methodology for advancing the Gospel of Christ. Prayer is the working method of our mission." ¶18
The Primacy of Evangelism
"We declare our passion for the evangelization of the world. We will share the gospel." ¶20
"We undertake our mission as Lutherans. We proceed from a variety of Lutheran synodical backgrounds, in which we participate gladly." ¶13a
"We undertake our mission as a community: lay and ordained, male and female, multi-generational and multi-ethnic. Our members are variously and wonderfully gifted for the task we share together. We appreciate their multi-textured gifts and work at encouraging one another in their exercise, for the cause of Jesus Christ." ¶13b
"We believe that God has called all Christians everywhere to involvement in his mission in the world. Each one has a role to play." ¶55
"We understand that [our] commitment exacts a cost – and we purpose to bear it, by the grace of God. We will ready ourselves for suffering. We will turn away from costly comforts, a larger income, material possessions, and places of personal privilege or honor. We will choose instead to embrace the way of poverty, loss, suffering, and humiliation – whatever it takes to bring the Gospel of Jesus to as many people as possible." ¶17
"Since God gives our resources in answer to prayer, we will not solicit human beings." ¶19a
"The Mission firmly believes that the promises of God in the Scriptures and His faithfulness are sufficient grounds for obeying His call to missionary service, and for trusting Him to be with His own and supply all their needs." ¶111
"The Mission in each country with all its workers is committed to the principle of avoiding any kind of indebtedness." ¶112
"The Mission's financial policy believes and assumes that God is faithful, and may be counted upon to provide in every way… for the advancement of His Kingdom's work around the world. The Mission, therefore, does not curtail or delimit its work on the basis of a formal budget, or pledged and calculated income. New workers are accepted, commissioned and sent without requiring that there first of all be money in sight to support them. No stated salary is pledged or promised to any workers wherever assigned. All workers in the Mission, whatever their location or position, share impartially in the distribution of living allowances made each month out of the general funds of the Mission." ¶113
Commitment to the Frontiers
"We will remain prayerfully alert to the frontiers that surround us today, and the new frontiers that may beckon us tomorrow. We will apply our prayers and resources, in particular, along the frontier of the unreached – those peoples among whom an indigenous, missionizing, church-planting movement has yet to be established." ¶21a
"[W]hen obedient faith acts on the promises of God, there can be constant advance within the bounds of God's will for worldwide missions." ¶115
"[W]e understand our fellowship to be part of a much larger body – the Church of Jesus Christ around the world. Wherever possible, we will advocate interrelationship, interdependence, and creative partnership in the cause of the Gospel around the world." ¶14
"As for ourselves and our work, we intend to be mobile. We pledge ourselves to expendability. We will not ensconce our persons or our organization permanently in any of our areas of work. We understand ourselves as scaffolding; but when a building is completed, the scaffolding must be removed. In all of our work, we will plan for our own dismantling, in order to help build up the church in another area." ¶23
Our life and work together grow out of basic theological and missiological principles.
"We are a community committed to the Person and the Cause of Jesus. And we do not consider the commitment optional. We believe that committed lives are indispensable for authentic and compelling witness."
We will exhort one another to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
PRIMACY OF EVANGELISM
"We mean to be a community that regularly and unabashedly calls others to [the Person and the Cause of Jesus] as well. We mean to plead with all of our creative energy, ‘Be reconciled to Christ,’ as ambassadors of God himself…. We declare our passion for the evangelization of the world."
We will present the Gospel of Jesus with a view toward calling unbelievers to faith.
"We will share the gospel. And our sharing will involve more than our words. We propose sharing "ourselves" – that is, our material goods, our money, our service, our very lives."
We will enact the love of Jesus.
We are the World Mission Prayer League. We began our life together in missionary concern for South America; since then we have developed ministries on five continents. There is no area of the world in which we "rule out" a priori the possibility of further missionary involvement.
Yet we cannot be everywhere. It is our vision to prioritize our involvements by careful attention to strategic criteria.
WHERE CHRIST IS UNKNOWN OR LITTLE-KNOWN
"We will remain prayerfully alert to the frontiers that surround us today, and the new frontiers that may beckon us tomorrow. We will apply our prayers and resources, in particular, along the frontier of the unreached – those peoples among whom an indigenous, missionizing, church-planting movement has yet to be established."
We will focus our prayers and our resources "where Christ is unknown or little known" (from the Handbook).
"We will apply ourselves further, as much as possible, along the frontier of limited access – unreached peoples among whom few missionaries are at work, or traditional missionaries cannot go."
We will prioritize our ministries in areas requiring "creative access."
LIFE IN COMMUNITY
"We must work, in particular, at building our community within the fabric of the worldwide, international, and interdenominational Kingdom of Christ. ... We will advocate interrelationship, interdependence, and creative partnership in the cause of mission."
We will prefer working together. We will advocate for shared ministry, creative partnership, and genuine mutuality in all of our work and projects.
Ministry partners may include:
- "National" church structures
- US or Canadian church structures
- Individual sending congregations
- International missionary agencies
- Good-willed individuals
"We will work to make our ‘roster’ reflect our international identity – in the complexion of our staff at home and around the world, as well as in our governing Council and committees."
Through the years we have inherited many relationships here and there around the world – in particular, between our organization and international church bodies. We will not abandon our relationships with these international partners. But we will seek to transform these relationships into genuine partnerships in mission.
"[W]e will encourage the church to take up its calling."
We have developed a core of organizational values and programmatic commitments that represent priorities for our life and ministry.
"We are fundamentally a praying ‘league,’ a community of men and women who are committed to prayer as a key methodology for advancing the Gospel of Christ. Prayer is the "working method" of our mission."
We will pray, first and last, in every area of our work.
"We will pray, in particular, for its leadership, and work to encourage and develop its leadership in every way."
We will prioritize ministries of leadership development.
"We will work toward an indigenous, missionizing, church-planting movement, wherever God has led us…..We believe that the mission of God belongs to the whole people of God. We will encourage Christians everywhere in its pursuit."
We will prioritize mission mobilization.
"Since God gives our resources, we will not solicit human beings."
We will hold one another accountable in our commitment to non-solicitation.
"We will turn away from costly comforts, a larger income, material possessions, and places of personal privilege or honor. We will choose instead to embrace the way of poverty, loss, suffering, and humiliation – whatever it takes to bring the Gospel of Jesus to as many people as possible."
We will hold one another accountable in our commitment to simplified living.
"As for ourselves and our work, we intend to be mobile."
We will prioritize mobility, and ask ourselves regularly when we might "move on" in each of our areas of work.