In 1961, a man called George Verwer climbed a tree in Austria to cry out to God in prayer. George was passionate about reaching people with the gospel, but he was going through a hard time. As George has recounted in sermons many times, it was during these prayers, that God gave him the name “Operation Mobilisation” for the new organisation he had founded a few years previously. Now, “OM” is a diverse multi-denominational international missions organisation with thousands of missionaries serving in over 100 countries.
So, what is ‘mobilising’, and why should you be a mobiliser? Well, I believe that mobilising is a combination of encouraging people and preparing people to do something – motivating their hearts and equipping, training or instructing them so that they can be effective. In Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels we read how Jesus sent out the twelve disciples, and in Luke 10 we also read how Jesus later sent out 72 ‘others’. Jesus was a mobiliser. He set a great example for us. He had certainly inspired and moved his followers’ hearts; he had taught them and prepared them, and at the point of sending them out, he gave them specific instructions and advice for their mission, including the encouraging words “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:3).
We are now in our fifth year at Operation Mobilisation in Brazil. OM Brazil is in the business of mobilising people for Jesus. It was actually through George, that we were originally mobilised to join OM. We were sent to Brazil, but now that we are here, we are not often sent out, rather we are playing our part in preparing and facilitating others to go. We are mobilisers. Nélia is equipping missionaries with the English language. I, by maintaining an operational IT system, and helping in the leadership of the team in Brazil, am also equipping and guiding others. Of course, we also play a part in encouraging and motivating students, missionaries, and people we meet outside of OM.
So what is it like being a mobiliser? What keeps us motivated to mobilise? As in any job, there is a certain amount of repetition; but one of the great things about being in a training base, is that the faces are constantly changing. We are regularly meeting new people, seeing them change and grow, as they prepare to go out. Thanks to communications technology, we can keep in touch with how God is using them in whatever country they have been sent to. For Nélia, each new English term has different individual characters, and a different group dynamic. She needs to be creative and innovative in the material and methods she uses. Technology never stands still, but unfortunately it can get old, so for me there are always ways to do things faster or smarter or easier – and preferably cheaper! Of course, there are challenges and difficulties, and we learnt very early on that prayer is essential to our lives.
One of my favourite scriptures is so real:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3: 5,6)
So, what about you? Jesus sent the 12; then he sent another 72. Might He be sending you? Or if you don’t feel sent, do you feel called to mobilise others? George was (and still is) passionate about mobilising. But this wasn’t George’s idea; it was God’s. God sent Jesus. Jesus mobilised the disciples. Through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit mobilises us. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?
Holland Road is a mobilising church; a sending church, and a going church. To do these things is not just obeying, they are also acts of worship. It shows that we love Jesus. If you have received the gospel, then someone must have told you. What part are you playing in telling others?