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Relationships and networks for 21st Century Great Commission Effectiveness

Posted by NandCard , 08 March 2013 · 1123 views

Lately among our Alliance international workers, we've been talking a lot about how our profession is changing. I believe that one of those ways is that, more than ever, our workers are people who minister hand in hand with our sending churches. International workers are seen less and less as special people sent far away for long periods of time to do unique things. They do remain very special people who do work in a cross-cultural context that demands a special calling and equipping. That’s why we are so proud of them!

But more and more, international workers function as extensions of home churches that these days, are more meaningfully connected to the world, its needs, and many options for engaging in global work. It is a special privilege, then, when Alliance churches focus on support for Alliance workers touching the world’s needs, and on options for engaging in ways that synergize with those workers.

Expectations for "sent ones" use to be that they would persevere with a small thread of connection while doing things in which senders could only participate by faithful prayer and giving. While still profoundly needed and appreciated, faithful prayer and giving today are part of a broader package of sender-participation that includes maintaining vibrant relationship and concrete engagement through frequent, instant communication and affordable world travel.

Partnerships that make Great Commission enterprise work today are, more than ever, truly relationships (real time and direct), and networks (multiple and varied, opening lots of access to various resources). This calls us all to spend a higher percentage of time cultivating and maintaining relationships and networks than we used to do.

For international workers, these changes demand that some things in the Field context have to receive a bit less time. But a key upside to this shift is that these “sent ones” really don't have to do this job alone, or at a distance from the resources of “sending ones.”

I believe there is a bounty of prayer and emotional support, expertise and strategic interaction, funds and future workers for the Harvest - all available as we shift gears to working more in relationships and networks across the seas. May God give us all grace to shift in a way that reveals this fruit!

  • David Lauffer and Ruthie Hankins like this

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