Your FOCUS On the World
Guiding your church through a step-by-step process to DISCOVER, SELECT, and then IMPLEMENT a high-impact, cross-cultural initiative.
What is a FOCUS?
A FOCUS is a church’s proactive choice to concentrate their passion and resources for a strategic, global impact. Moving your church into high-impact, cross-cultural engagement is not a matter of following a script or applying a set formula. It is a journey of discovering God’s particular global purpose for your congregation and involving your people in the excitement of fulfilling what your local body of believers was designed to do.
Why consider a FOCUS?
The 21st century offers local churches unprecedented opportunities for major global impact. But so much of the amazing potential in our congregations is going untapped, and too many missions programs are failing to connect with our people.
Your FOCUS on the World will help your church to:
- Launch/Join strategic, global initiatives that connect to brothers and sisters around the world, match your congregation’s global DNA, and are fully owned by your church’s leaders.
- Infect the entire congregation, especially younger generations, with a passion to personally get involved in reaching the nations—and provide ways to use their gifts.
- Avoid costly mistakes—such as choosing the wrong partners, going it alone, assuming unrealistic expectations, or creating dependency.
- Increase prayer involvement as well as missions giving and the recruitment of longer-term missionaries.
Become a FOCUS coach
A coach guides a church through the FOCUSing process. This coach can be a missions pastor or other leader inside the church, or a church can use an outside coach to guide them in developing their FOCUS. The coach does not bring their own goals but helps the church’s FOCUS selection team to identify their global DNA and where God would have them engage with greatest impact.
Coach training is open to both church leaders and mobilizers who would like to assist multiple churches in the FOCUSing process. In this training, coaches receive all of the resources to lead churches through these 10 sessions–including detailed leader notes, PowerPoint presentations, and video clips. These 10 workshops walk a church through the FOCUSing process and address key areas of implementation. The materials can be customized; rearranged; used as individual, stand-alone modules; or divided into shorter sessions to fit a diversity of church situations.
These 2 ½ days provide time for an in-depth overview of materials and workshop sessions. There is an opportunity to dialog about facilitation options and learn from what FOCUS author Ellen Livingood gleaned from interviewing over 100 churches, coaches, and other partners, and her experience in guiding churches in strategic FOCUS development.
Review the Your FOCUS on the World Manual to more thoroughly understand the concepts and consider the real-life stories of churches that are engaged globally in a FOCUS. Then ask yourselves: Are we passionate about reaching across cultural barriers to reach people with the gospel and expand Christ’s Kingdom? Are we dissatisfied with the current level of missions involvement of our church? Are we willing to change or expand the way we engage in missions if another approach may be more effective? Do we have a core of key leaders willing to invest the time to discover how God is leading our congregation? If your answer to these questions is, “yes,” then you are ready to further explore God’s global plans for your church. Welcome to the FOCUS process!
No! Adopting a FOCUS means you are adding a concentrated initiative, not dropping involvement with other, high-impact ministries. Often, but certainly not always, a church chooses to FOCUS on an initiative in which they have already been involved. In most cases, your entire missions program will benefit from your FOCUS efforts.
The alternate FOCUS resource, Your FOCUS on the World Implementation Guide, is designed for churches like yours! This practical resource will help you identify and train leaders, identify fresh ways to engage the congregation, avoid common pitfalls, and pursue opportunities to partner with others who share your passion. This material is also included in the larger FOCUS manual.
Adopting a strategic FOCUS is a great way to begin your global involvement!
The period of time from initiating the process to selecting the FOCUS typically runs 3-15 months. Planning a nine-month process might be optimum.
Many of the FOCUSing principles can be applied to outreach of any type anywhere. However, the Your FOCUS on the World Manual, specifically addresses your cross-cultural missions mandate. The issue is not primarily geography: You can cross cultures right in your own community. But the majority of the FOCUS Manual’s context is ends-of-the-earth involvement.
The sessions can be organized to fit your church’s preferred schedule. Below are two options. It is assumed that participants will have read and spent some time considering the pertinent material in the manual in advance of each session.
- Extended sessions, each 3 to 4 hours in length (recommended) or
- Abbreviated sessions, each 1 to 1 ½ hours in length.
Yes! Ellen Livingood, the author of the FOCUS materials, would be glad to talk with you. Just call us at 215.579.4346 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET. Or email us at info@CatalystServices.org. We would be glad to be of help.