Friday, October 30, 2015

Closing the Operational Gap in Missions

Connecting with a ministry leader
Did you know that there are over 60,000 missionaries in the world today that raise their funds to do missionary work?  God has enabled me to help many of these missionaries with my software (about 12,000).  However, there are still thousands more who would like to use my software but are hampered by the limited resources of their sending organizations.  These small to mid-size organizations often still rely on paper reports to get donor information to their missionaries, thus slowing them down and making them less effective.  Many of these organizations would love to implement a web-based solution to speed up the information flow, but it often feels out of reach given their limited capacity to keep up with the day to day.

This year God has put on my heart some fresh ideas on how to close this gap for many of these organizations.  A big part of my inspiration has come by transitioning from a larger mission agency to a smaller one and feeling these many gaps firsthand.  I’ve also had great conversations with many mission leaders from various organizations this past year, which has given me valuable insights into their needs.  Just recently, I participated in the Missio Nexus here in Orlando and spoke face to face with mission leaders from over 30 organizations.

One of the major themes that keeps coming back is the need to adapt my software and integrate it with QuickBooks.  I’m discovering that QuickBooks is hands down the most common accounting system used by the majority of these smaller ministries.  Having worked under such a large organization for so many years that uses a much more complex accounting system, my eyes had not yet been opened to this need for smaller ministries.  Now, even our own mission agency, Global Service Network, uses QuickBooks.

Integrating my software with QuickBooks will be a big undertaking, but it will provide a big result.  I have enlisted the help of some close friends in ministry to help me figure this out, and in a way that we can easily share what we learned with others.  I wish I had actual results to share with you at this time, but this is a work in process, and we could use your prayers for wisdom and guidance.

I’ve found that I’m much more inspired to design solutions when I have firsthand experience with some challenge.  As a missionary who raises my own support, I find great experience in knowing how to best improve the tools which I use personally and provide to other missionaries.  Now I’m so thankful to be a missionary with Global Service Network.  I’m gaining valuable experience with what it’s like to serve with a smaller organization.

Thank you for your continued support of our labor in the Lord.  You are a blessing to us, and to many other missionaries through our efforts.  Please pray for our wisdom and guidance as we serve in ministry.