For over nine years, I have been a bi-vocational church planter and pastor in Yonkers, New York. I have become aware that churches sometimes are not effective in reaching their immediate communities. If your church should move out of the community, would the community notice that your church does no longer exist? There appears to be a myopic view of the mission of both local churches and the Mission of the universal Church.
I have developed a process (based on seminars and workshops) that will increase awareness as to how churches can apply a missional theology in order to challenge the Church to rediscover its Biblical call to holistic missions. This is applicable to all areas of ministries. This process draws from Biblical models and principles that are applicable in any context. The challenge to be truly missional requires that persons consider themselves to be disciples, and begin to engage their communities in their everyday life, to be incarnate. How can they apply the same principles used in international missionary endeavors, in their local settings? How will missions and being missional in the 21st century be any different from the Colonial Periods? Also, how can we mobilize the laity to become active in carrying out the Great Commission, Commandment and Compassion? These questions have posed a challenge to the Church. I seek to answer those questions.
The challenges that seem to be facing some Yonkers churches are similar to those that face the North American Churches. Some of these challenges are diversity of the harvest, an increasingly large harvest, lack of harvesters, and lack of focus in the local churches, a dying church, lack of spiritual leaders and an unclear understanding and presentation of the Gospel.
In the Gospel of Luke chapter 10:2 reads, “And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  This was Jesus’ view of the many souls that were not saved. This picture is true today of the North American Church and begs the question “Has the Church lost its focus of the Great Commission, Commandment and Compassion—holistic missions?” Many churches are declining, and even dying, while the ‘unchurched’ population is increasing. Ed Stetzer and Mike Dobson stated that three denominations —Assemblies of God, Nazarene, and Southern Baptists — all reported a decline in their membership. While many churches in these denominations are growing, the greater portion is declining.
We do not have to travel miles and overseas to some foreign country to locate the mission field. Right here, literally in our backyards, the world has come to us as Sadiri Joy Tira, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization senior associate for Diasporas, said, “The world has become borderless.”
The next challenge that Jesus identified was that the laborers are few (Luke 10:2). Many churches lack disciples or self-feeders (Christ-centered persons) that are harvesters. According to Ed Stetzer and Mike Dobson in the book entitled Come Back Churches, seventy to eighty percent (70-80%) of North American Churches are in decline and 3,500 to 4,000 U.S. churches close their doors every year. We are only planting about 3,500 to 4,000 per year, and when we add in population growth we are behind with the number of churches that are needed.
To be truly missional requires a holistic approach that includes the Great Commandment, Great Commission and the Great Compassion (the Great C’s), this I call “The Circle of Mission”. It is about ministering to the total person and requires an investment into person’s lives, of our time and our finances. This is a long-term investment.
 In their book Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples, Eric Geiger, and Thom S. Rainer, researched and present a clear and detail picture of the North American Church community. The book is by Kiev Russia: B&H Publishing Group, 2006.
 All Scripture references are taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), unless otherwise noted.
 Mike Dodson, and Ed Stetzer in their book Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too evaluated 300 churches that were declining and undertook a process that led to their turn around. The book is published in New York by B&H Books, 2007.
 Sadiri Joy Tira, “Evangelism vs. Missions” Christianity Today, July 2010.