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May Activate Post: The surprising work of mobilization


Have you ever happened upon something and wondered it if were alive? For example, if I walk into my kitchen and see a spider, I need to figure out if it’s alive.

How do I do that? I sit very quietly, patiently, and wait. I watch to see if it will move. If it moves, I’m outta there! Movement is one of the primary factors in determining if something is alive. It is a biological sign of life.

“Mobilization” is a word used in the mission world all the time. It is in our mission statement: TMS Global exists to mobilize and deploy the body of Christ. What is mobilization?

Mobilization is the act of putting something in motion. At TMS Global, mobilization isn’t what you might think it is. It’s not just the beginning, the gateway to service. Mobilization is the whole of mission work. One who is mobilized is mobilized to be a mobilizer (for example, disciples are discipled to be disciple-makers). Mobilization could be seen as the lens through which all of TMS Global’s work is done. Newton’s first law of physics states that bodies in motion stay in motion, and bodies at rest stay at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force. As bodies in motion, souls who are alive, we put others into motion upon contact. This is, in essence, mobilization.

As we relate to churches, we seek to empower them to become active participants in the Great Commission, here, there, and everywhere. As we engage individuals, we empower them to live out their unique lives for the sake of the kingdom.

The heart of TMS Global is to listen and learn what God is doing inside of a person or a church, and to join what God is doing in them with what God is doing in the world. Mobilization inside TMS Global is not recruiting for a position to fill. It is not looking at our needs and finding a way to fill them. It isn’t even looking at the needs of the world and finding a way to meet them. Its sole focus is mobilizing the body of Christ to be about the work God has uniquely put in each individual and church to do.

A body must be in motion in order to live. Mobilization is awakening the body of Christ to its true purpose. It is awakening the body of Christ to the thing that will keep it alive and demonstrate that it is alive—movement! Mobilization is fanning into flame the gifts of God already placed in an individual’s or a community’s life! Mobilization isn’t building a jet plane, the vehicle for mission already exists. Mobilization is simply putting the key in the ignition and turning.

If you are wondering how your unique passions and gifts or the passions and gifts of your church could be mobilized toward better doing the work of God’s kingdom, contact us. We would love to talk with you.

Sarah Parham serves as the senior director of domestic mobilization for TMS Global.