The Early Days
The CMM began as a ministry to other ministries, providing resources and training to build up the body of Christ to complete the Great Commission. We were originally named The BodyBuilders after Ephesians 4:12, “And He gave some… for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” Steve Shadrach founded this ministry after establishing and handing over two other ministries to the next generation of leadership: the collegiate ministries of Student Mobilization and The Traveling Team. With a desire to cast a global vision and provide resources to more churches, mission agencies, and campus ministries, The BodyBuilders was formed in 2001 with co-founder John Patton.
Identifying the Need: More Laborers for the Harvest
In Matthew 9:37, Jesus told the disciples that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. With 40% of the world’s people groups still unreached with the gospel, the greatest need is for more laborers to go to the unreached where few are harvesting. The heartbeat of the CMM is to mobilize the body of Christ to send missionaries from around the globe to the remaining 2.9 billion unreached people.
The CMM has specialized in this need by mobilizing the body of Christ to join in God’s kingdom work and by helping Christians overcome common barriers that keep them from serving in God’s global mission.
The First 10 Years
A Powerful Potential Workforce: College Students
Throughout the last 200 years of church history, college students have been the ones to lead the church in frontier missions. The CMM has prioritized much of its training and mobilization efforts on students as a significant global work force of laborers to the unreached. In 2003, we published one of the most comprehensive books on collegiate ministry, The Fuel and the Flame, authored by Steve Shadrach. We later launched the Campus Ministry Toolbox (renamed Campus Ministry Today in 2015) website and Campus Ministry Journal in 2010 to influence the trajectory of campus ministry culture. We want to provide insight and tools to build future leaders who are well grounded in evangelism, disciple making, and mission mobilization.
An Obstacle to Overcome: Funding Christian Workers
If the greatest need is for more laborers, one of the greatest obstacles that keeps many Christians from entering or staying in full-time ministry is raising financial support. The majority of workers around the world are “faith missionaries” who rely upon the financial support of other Christians to fund their ministry efforts. This is why the CMM began creating a suite of resources in 2001 under Support Raising Solutions — to provide biblical and practical support raising training to full-time Christian workers.
Children: The Future of Missions
After mobilizing students, churches, and ministry workers for a decade, the CMM recognized the strategic potential of children and families in God’s global purpose. We cannot overlook this significant population in the global church, since God decreed from the beginning that His promise would come through families. He described His covenant with Abraham in Genesis 18:19, “For I have chosen [Abraham], that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him” (emphasis added). Weave was born in 2013 to invite families, from the toddler to the parent, to be a part of changing the world. Weave’s website, training, and resources help align the hearts of families with God’s global purpose by equipping them to define, embrace, and live out their unique role in advancing the Kingdom and grow to their fullest potential in Christ.
Frontier Mobilization: A New Paradigm
For years, mobilizers were described as people who wanted to go to the unreached, but who were “willing to stay in their home culture to mobilize others.” But in 2010, a new leader in our organization began to redefine mobilization in light of the worldwide imbalance of mission sending. While 80% of the evangelical church now resides in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, 75% of the missionaries are still coming from the West. Considering these numbers, we in the Western church must be as strategic with our mobilizers as we are with our missionaries. If we challenge missionaries go to where the greatest need for the gospel is (to the unreached), then we must challenge mobilizers to go to where the greatest need for mobilization is (to the unsent). This concept has transformed the CMM into a sending agency — not of missionaries, but of mobilizers. In 2011, the CMM launched its first team of frontier mobilizers into the Middle East, and has since continued launching mobilization teams into strategic regions around the world with high evangelical populations.
As we have pioneered the concept of frontier mobilization, we have also begun to understand the need for different types and stages of mobilization. Large group mobilization efforts focus on mission education, vision casting, and rallying Christians to the cause of world evangelization. Mobilization through discipleship is done in small groups or one-on-one, with an emphasis on living out a World Christian lifestyle together, and multiplying one’s self as a mobilizer. At the CMM, we recognize the value of both styles of mobilization. While we continue to practice large group mobilization and vision casting in order to sow broadly and lay a groundwork for our field mobilizers, we feel God has called us to specialize in discipleship based mobilization. Our main focus is on multiplying World Christians, mobilizers, and goers.