Friday, March 8

The Future Looks Bright

I am part of a team within the missions agency I am a part of, One Challenge International, (Look we have a new website!!) called "Future Send" (I enjoy this name because the URL I have is, but I will often refer to it as "Future's End"... cleaver? I know. (Sometimes it's the little things...) the point of this team is to look at OC and figure out how we as a Sixty Year Old organization can rework and retool ourselves for the future of missions. The world and reality of 1953 was drastically different than than today in 2013. Communication can be instant with almost anyone, anywhere in the world. Not just audio, but video as well. Those are things that missionaries would have marked up to science fiction in the past, is now very easy to setup a connection during a church service to talk to a missionary in real time on the field.

On top of some of the technological changes some of the ways that missionaries were sent out 60 to 200 years ago was a lot different than the way they go out now. Countries come and go, feelings about Christianity change in regions, places once thought as safe become dangerous, and vice-versa. Our core team is dedicated to look at how OC works now, and look at how we can fix older parts of OC and make them more flexible for the future of missions. The part of the team I am on focuses on how OC and the US churches can communicate and work together better. (And thus, get more church going people involved in missions... not necessarily as "full time field" missionaries, but helping missions with the skills and abilities they have to help "full time people" or to help make the needs of the "full time person" known to their church body.

It's an area I have a lot of ideas in, and would love to talk to more churches about what they expect when they send out missionaries, and if they'd like to see more from their sent people, or maybe less? It's an exciting time as churches are starting to look more at missions and being involved more in what God is doing in the world. OC wants to be there to help facilitate ways to get church bodies involved with missions. The full range, from keeping up with a missionary on FB or Twitter, or maybe they write a blog and post pictures, to being an advocate to the church on behalf of the missionary who can't always be there. Doing things like speaking up for the missionary when the missionary has prayer needs, or in contrast communicating what the church is doing to the missionary so they can also know what is going on in their world. Maybe increasing the availabilities of some of our field staff to help with things like missions trips/ vision trips, where we take some church members and show them what OC is doing in the area, who we work with and get an idea of how God has worked in the area in the past and what we hope He'll do in the future. Essentially to catch that "missions bug". That those people out on the field aren't really any different from them. And then partnering with OC in some way to offer help with skills. Like we might want some video of our South Africa team, so a few people with an interest form a trip and raise the funds and head to SA to shoot video and take pictures. Or maybe the missionary needs a personal assistant for a heavy summer of programs. Someone could head out to the field for a few months and help with the extra administrative stuff, which at the same time learning about what God is doing, how the missionary lives and if this is something that they themselves could be doing.

A large part of why I write this article is because the people in the "core" group of Future Send are an exciting bunch to work with. They are all very intelligent people, they know how to ask some GREAT questions, and they all have a different take on OC from their different backgrounds. I think with all the spunk, fire, drive, and passion in this group OC could really be turned on it's head. Add in a sprinkling of getting rid of some old fashioned "office" environment stuff, more a lot of what we are and can do to be available anywhere, through any device, online and it'll help us bend in the winds of change as opposed to get snapped off when the wind blows too hard.

God has given me a lot of ideas for this team, and I am excited to see what the other people bring to the table as well. Despite my illness and sickness this is something that I don't want to miss being a part of. I am humbled to be a part of this team as there are some great thinkers on it and it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with them all.

In my interaction with OC missionaries I would be hard pressed to find a company of people who don't encourage me on a daily basis, who don't pray for me on a daily basis, and who challenge me on a daily basis. (And that's with me not even being in the office!) God has brought me to an amazing place and has placed me at a time where I might be able to help this organization, which itself is humbling.

I don't know what healing from this cancer requires. I thought I knew, and the answer keeps being no. Either way, it's been an honor to work with and know all the people I have come to know through my job with OC. Thank you all.

[ Prayer request? | Help Us? ]


Post a Comment

I am using DISQUIS for my comments these days. If you can see this and don't see the DISQUIS comments it probably means you are blocking cookies or are running an ad blocker that is blocking my comment stream. ***Any comments left here (on Google's comment system) will be deleted.***