Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lost along the way

I have been with our organization for eleven years now. We have changed significantly in our structure and our vision in that time. I believe that our region was and is something special and had a unique ethos that the rest of the world could really benifit from. Below are ten principles that we used to believe. I still believe them but I wonder how many others even know about them.

10 Life-Principles for People Who Aspire To Impact World A
Work among Unreached peoples supercedes any organization. It is a way of life for people who have committed their heart and soul to a passion and a vision. " All peoples...Nothing less" is the rallying cry that expresses our heartthrob. The pervasive vision represented by this phrase is illustrated by the scriptural imagery of all peoples gathered together bowing in worship before Christ's throne. The IMB exists solely to bring the light of Christ to the least evangelized, to the disenfranchised, to those utterly void of any gospel witness. God's Word guarantees the ultimate victory.
The following principles were born out of this passion for All peoples...nothing less. The principles guide us and shape our activities among the unreached. These life-principles are useful for anyone who ventures to the edge -to the unreached world.

I. DESTINATION IS THE POINT AND YOU ARE THE KEY! An indigenous church planting movement among every people must be the point of all we do. Plans, programs and technology are not our foremost consideration but only means to the end. You as a worker among unreached peoples (your competency and character) are the key in reaching the destination. Thus, we must do all we can to provide adequately support, training and guidance.

2. WE MUST CONTINUALLY CHANGE. The unreached world is an ever-changing world of governments and forces who are belligerently resisting Gospel witness. Our willingness to challenge and change the way we do things has been one of our chief strengths. Unwillingness to challenge what has become status quo or conventional wisdom in the IMB will mean stagnation. Thus, we must continually check our course, making minor adjustments and even major changes.

3. ORGANIZANONAL CONFORMITY FOR THE SAKE OF CONFORMITY IS DEATH. Our Lord has created something unique and distinctive in the IMB - for the sake of the nations. To sacrifice the nations on the altar of organizational expediency or uniformity is wrong. We are part of the organizational family, and yet, we do not have to look or act exactly like our brothers and sisters. Our motivation must not be conformity to organizational standards, procedures and policies for the sake of conformity. Rather, our motives must be driven by what it will take to reach the nations not by what it will take to strengthen the name of CA or the IMB or the SBC.

4. THE WAY FORWARD FOR World A Workers MUST BE THROUGH HUMILITY AND SERVICE. The vision and passion which we share for the nations and which we believe to be the very heart of our God will not be grasped by others through our arrogance or power of persuasion, but only through our humility and service to the rest of the Christian community.
The politics of power and turf are not the way of our Lord, so they should not be our way either. We must continually remember that we are participants in World A only at our Lord's gracious invitation. We as one of the fourteen regions of the IMB should make it a priority to willingly serve the other 13 regions and the other Great Commission Christian organizations.

5. WE ALL LIVE UNDER AUTHORITY AND ARE ACCOUNTABLE. We live together under the covenant to bless the nations. In this relationship, we mentor, correct, teach and support each other. Thus, all of us are accountable to someone in a linear, corporate-like structure where individuals under authority are empowered for appropriate decision-making and leadership. We don't take votes and we don't establish committees. The context in which we work and the stewardship of resources demand that we operate .in the most efficient, effective manner possible.

6. THE GREATER OUR DIVERSITY, THE GREATER OUR STRENGTH. A leveling of everyone to the lowest common denominator is not our aim. Everyone must not look and act the same. Equity is not our way of operating. Each of you will be treated differently. Our aim must be the maximizing of everyone's unique gifts and personality so that the destination is reached.

7. COMMUNICATION MUST BE WIDE AND SECURE. We must redouble our efforts and use the latest means' in order to communicate effectively and securely with each other and our constituency.

8. THE EDGE IS WHERE WE BELONG. As individuals and as a group, we dare not draw back from the edge of the unreached. We are people who are gifted for and called to the edge, thus, we must continue to enter new people groups and cities rather than seeking only to consolidate the gains we've made.

9. WE WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET TO THE DESTINATION. This does not mean that the end justifies every means. Rather, it means that we do what our Lord has asked of us, believing that He intends for His church to exist among all peoples before He returns. To get to this destination, we must move beyond restrictive thinking, work with world Christian brothers and sisters, and believe He is working in every situation.

10. THE ORGANIZATION IS NOT YOUR GOD (or your mother). Your call is from the One who called Abraham to be a blessing to the nations. Your dependency must rest in Him alone. Your power does not lie in the organization's resources or name but in the One who created all things. If our worship and allegiance is not focused singularly on the One who made all peoples and on His Son, then we disqualify ourselves from this race.

I will try and not make future posts so long.

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