People sometimes ask me how I view my missions work and what I do.
My short explanation is…
“I am a mission strategist and mobilizer, a thinker and practicioner. I work to empower local leaders through training partnerships & consultation, while also pioneering new context appropriate outreaches, “groups”, and resources.”
But beyond my own role in cross cultural missions work, I have thought through some words that can reveal function in “missions.”
When you think through your own work, key words can also help you understand how you view your own work and function.
Here are some of my own words with a little blurb of my thoughts on each one:
Learner- Taking in new information constantly as a way of life, whether it be through various types of media or in one on one conversations with people who are outside of your normal scope of conversation. This heart is essential in missions work. Many times we come in as the teachers when we should first be entering in as the learners.
Researcher- Taking the time and effort to seek out information and sift through everything to find information that either supports or stands against your propositions. I would say that “Learner is my heart. Researcher is part of the outworking.”
Thinker- Reflecting on that information you are taking in and how it affects your sphere of ministry and the lives and ministries of others. It can take time to figure out how everything you are taking in fits together into the bigger picture of your local context.
Strategist- Coming up with ways to use information to reach goals that make a difference in accomplishing a God given mission as well as providing possible solutions to other groups who may need help.
Consultant- Helping others to understand the data and the strategic conclusions and solutions you to offer as part of a service to other groups in order, in my case, to help them answer the question, “What’s it going to take to see this God sized vision come to pass”?
Catalyst- Being an agent that gets the process of change moving in the right direction. This means that you aren’t waiting for the model to follow, but you are working to create a model or get a needed vision moving in the right direction.
Practitioner- Being one who is not just a talker but a doer. One who leads by setting a practical example or even precedents for others to follow. Your success is what will motivate other groups who are currently indifferent.
Writer- Documenting your real life findings on an ongoing basis. Writing the vision and making it plain so that others may read it and run, thereby expanding influence (ie, leadership) Writing can leave a legacy for other generations to follow and build upon.
Mobilizer- Helping other people to be involved in the process and work that would have otherwise not been able to see or experience it. This is both locally and in the Western world. A mobilizer gathers people for the fulfillment of a common cause.
Networker- Finding out where the holes are in accomplishing your God given goals and connecting with the right people who have strengths in that area. Also connecting known resources to the people who need them, even if they don’t even know it yet!
Contextualizer- Working in your local context to build bridges from another person’s perspective and world-view into the Gospel worldview. This role requires one to become a student of other people’s cultures and beliefs so that effective bridges can be built rather than walls. Once the message has been communicated, what the person does with it is called “Indigenization.”
Resource Creator- As you see holes emerging in the local resources of your area and you have a burden to fill that hole, you can set out to create your own answer to the problem through the creation of new local resources. These can come in many forms of media.
If you are working cross culturally what words would you use that reveal your function and contribution?
How do you explain your unique role of helping to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus in Matt 28:19-20?
Anything stand out to you from my list?