Monday, April 18, 2011

Building the Kingdom with Great Unity and Great Diversity

I was blown away by the sense of unity I experienced at the Funding Your Ministry conference last month in Colorado Springs. 35 major mission organizations and church denominations were represented, yet we all had the same goal: Helping to send fully funded laborers into the harvest.

There was great diversity in how the 35 ministries ask others to help fund their ministry. Some ask directly. Some are more passive. Some don’t ask at all! Despite this diversity, there was solid agreement in the Biblical basis for the importance of giving others an opportunity to partner with us in the Gospel. It was refreshing to see such a diverse group not get hung up on their differences.

I was encouraged to see the vast majority of the ministries at the conference had already adopted our software or were seriously considering it to help their missionaries and staff stay organized and focused. At the conference I led a focus group, and discovered many ways to significantly improve our software. I love getting this feedback: both the good and where improvements can be made.

Two of the people I met really stood out to me, and I’d like to mention them.

Steve Shadrach is the Director of Mobilization at U.S. Center for World Mission, as well as President of The BodyBuilders. Steve said, “The greatest need is for laborers, that’s what Jesus said in Matthew 9. If the greatest need is laborers, then it seems to me that the biggest obstacle is their funding.” Steve doesn’t just mention the importance of funding, he has personally trained thousands of missionaries from many organizations in how to actually do it. At each of this trainings, he mentions the use of our software to help those that attend stay organized.

Mike Riggins is the Director of Mission Service Corps, a division of the North American Missions Board which represents over 5,000 missionaries! I’ve known Mike through email, and he has been using our software personally for years. But our software never really took off with his colleagues because it wasn’t officially supported by the organization. That seems to be changing. I met recently with their financial controller and IT director to help them take the next step. I’m excited about this opportunity (and challenge) to help an additional 5,000 missionaries!