- Does your organisation have a policy of encouraging staff (including senior staff) to take on trusteeships with other Christian organisation?
- Does your organisation make provision (e.g. paid leave) to facilitate that policy?
- Does your organisation monitor the benefits?
Stress, burnout, overworking… These seem to be common features of both the secular workplace and missions today.
Whilst God created work (Genesis 1:28) and commends diligence (Proverbs 21:5), we often stray well beyond that into unhealthy patterns of overwork.
As the incoming Executive Director, we probably wouldn’t expect me to say anything else. But I really do! I don’t love Global Connections (GC) because it’s my job. I wanted the job because I love the network.
But why?Read more
One of the most hidden roles in mission are the trustee boards. The men and women to whom the CEOs report. They meet several times a year, often volunteering their time and talents for free – but carrying ultimate responsibility for our churches, charities and mission agencies.Read more
We’ve probably all heard the old adage: that to ‘assume’ things makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.
As our church has grown in experience, we’ve realised that, when we start new mission partnerships, we need to clarify our assumptions with our missionaries and their mission agencies. So we’ve developed a 3 way written agreement.
- The first page sets out what we are hoping to do as a sending church – praying, providing financial support, helping with pastoral care etc.
- The second page sets out what we are hoping our missionaries will do – working diligently, keeping in touch, alerting us about any serious issues etc.
- And the third page sets out what are hoping the mission agency will do – support and supervision, administering financial gifts, crisis management etc.
We have a draft partnership agreement, but it’s just a ‘starter for ten’ and is often adapted and personalised. When everyone’s happy with it, we all sign it and everyone keeps a copy. Then when we meet to review the partnership, or if problems arise, it’s a firm foundation to which we can refer.
Of course we’re not the only ones. For example, SIM have a similar agreement, but with 4 parts – for the church, the missionary, the UK agency office and the field office!
We’ve made it available on our website (www.allsouls.org/wmr) so that others can use of it – and we’re hoping to add more resources. It’s also a work in progress. Every year we amend and improve it, to reflect what we’ve learnt, and we welcome feedback (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org). As missions community it’s great when we can share resources, swap ideas and help one another grow.
Gladys Aylward, Helen Roseveare, Marjory Foyle, Elsie Maxwell … single women have always been, and probably always will be, a critical force in missions. It’s estimated that 60% of the missions workforce are single women. It’s a dynamic worth some more thought.
- Value. We need to celebrate the work of single women in our missions. Particularly as it will be the majority of that work! There are still conscious or unconscious biases in our society – wherein men, couples or families, may be more valued, noticed or acclaimed. And there’s probably some truth in the stereotype – that many women are less likely to push themselves forward or blow their own trumpet. Let’s encourage our single women to excel and celebrate them when they do.
The church started in the Middle East, spread to Europe, Asia, Africa, and then later to the Americas. Today there are more Christians in the majority world, than the West. Christianity was never a European religion and it definitely isn’t today.
The Bible tells us that, though we are scattered across the world, we are one family, one body. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it, if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. (I Cor 12:26).
What images does mission bring to us? Young families heading out to new lives overseas, orphanages in developing countries, student campus missions around the world.
Great stuff. But we also need to think about the other end of the age spectrum.
While many developing countries have a younger population, Europe is ageing. From 2011-2060 over 65s will rise from 17.5 – 29.5% of the European population. That’s a huge and growing number of older people. It’s both a great challenge and an opportunity for mission.