Articles having to do with Mission Mobilization as a Vocation


Strategy: Vocation: WHERE TO MOBILIZE
QUESTION From: <Name Withheld> ...Missions is hot over here, lotsa excitement...A sending nation... However the more I do this kind of stuff, the more the thought comes to me, "There are not a lot of people I know mobilizing [back in my home country]." So the question. Where is the best place for a Mobilizer to work? Where people are so hungry for Missions everyone wants to get involved? or where apathy and self-centeredness rule? Is our job to start the fire and fan it? Or to direct the already burning flames to where they'll do the most good? [and the least damage!?!] ...Frankly I'd rather stay where the action is. But part of me is always itching to get stuck in where it's not so easy... One thing for sure I'll be mobilizing till I die!!!

ANSWER From: Jason Butler <ccibrasil@xc.org> I think God used the same blueprints for me as for the one who posed the question about the best place for mobilizers! One answer that might fulfill both the desire to be in a place where the Christians are hungry (at least for the things of God, if not pure missions) and the desire to be on the cutting edge, in a pioneer-type situation (where mobilization is concerned), would be to go to a country where the Church is young, growing quickly, and hasn't yet developed a strong mobilization base. I work as a mobilizer in Brazil, which is an up-and-coming powerhouse as far as global missions are concerned. Whereas Brazil doesn't really need foreign church-planters (as one example), because there is a significant indigenous movement of church-planters, mobilization is still an area of need. (There ARE Brazilians, many of whom are VERY qualified, involved in mobilization, but based on the sheer size and growth-rate of the Church, it is a relatively small percentage.) For that matter, most Latin American countries are in a similar situation. South Africa is another example.

Using this paradigm, I would rule out the U.S., for example, and South Korea, as another, because the Church is strong and has a strong indigenous mobilization movement. I would also rule out most of Western Europe because the Church is weak and not in a position to mobilize cross-culturally in light of existing needs there.

ANSWER From: DONNA EATON <104470.625@compuserve.com> This may be over simplified but in my experience as a mobilizer in the U.S., I believe that God's perfect will for each individual believer regulates geographical location. He orders our steps according to his perfect plan for our life. Some here, some there. I have a heart and burden for a largely populated Far East Asia nation, have been there 3 times on short-term missions trips and would love to focus largely on that nation with my time and energy. But that is my desire and not necessarily God's plan for me at this time. He has definitely got me where I am now, mobilizing my church and community, so this is where I stay until this season in my life is over. Then move onto whatever or where ever else He sends me to. Missions mobilizing here in the U.S. is not always easy or rewarding, because there is a lack of understanding on U.S. believers part what missions is all about, and the enemy has fed us a lie (and we swallowed it) that only a few are 'called' to foreign missions, but I have joyfully discovered that when given revelation knowledge and Holy Spirit vision imparted through mobilizing, many people come alive to the need of world missions and respond in great ways. So bloom where God has planted you.

ANSWER From: Robert Schroeder <100714.1660@compuserve.com> I am a missions mobilizer working in Central Europe. Jesus gave his Great Commission to 11 disciples. It was just before the birthing of the church. I believe that the most effective place and time to mobilize is at the time that churches are being planted. If a church is birthed with a missionary vision, it will also grow with one. I see missions mobilization as a pioneering effort. Mobilization needs to be done wherever there are churches. Although Central Europe is not a strong sending base right now, there are many churches being planted that need a missionary vision. I am also mobilizing in former East Bloc countries, where churches for many years were not involved in world missions for obvious reason. Here again, it is pioneering work. Wherever I go, whether in Europe or North America, I see churches that need to be mobilized and I am sure that is true all over the world. I think that at times we are asked to start the fire and at other times to fan the flames. Perhaps one should look at one's giftings to see where one is more suited. Some people need to see immediate results, others can operate without seeing them. One thing I know is that a farmer will never reap a crop that has not been sown.

ANSWER From: Josie Plummer <TheLink@compuserve.com> Recently I have been thinking of the answers to the questions 'WHY do I mobilise?' and 'HOW do I mobilise?' . I think it's the same answer to 'WHERE do I mobilise?' When our team started we sat down to develop a strategic plan.... we ended up seeing all the obstacles and difficulties there were to mobilising local churches in England from a missions base. We didn't know how... we knew nothing about mobilising... no training... no one trusted us... no one knew us... yikes! Was it even strategic at all? I eventually wrote at the top "Why am I doing this job?" The answer came soon after: "Because God says so and for no other reason". This has become my 'ground zero'... when things are tough I can be secure, trusting God that if I sow.... eventually there will be reaping (even if I don't see it). There's lots of detail and answers to the question 'Where do I mobilise?' but at ground level I agree whole heartedly with Donna Eaton - we should do it where God tells us to do it!!!

There probably >are< more strategic places than others to mobilise and more strategic mobilising methods than others... But I have noticed that the most fruit from our work has come from one or two God given relationships which all our strategy & planning (good though it is) couldn't have anticipated. God asks us to be willing and available to be used by Him first and then, yes, use our human understanding to the full to make strategies and use effective models... But in the end we can be in an 'unstrategic' place and know nothing at all and still see things happen because we're obedient, we're available and we're willing to pray and listen to God's voice. I am learning that it's far better to do something out of relationship with the Lord than because it seems to be a good idea. Jesus told us that there is a direct relationship between fruitfulness and abiding in him... but it's taken me a while to catch on!!

ANSWER From: Bill & Amy Stearns <STEARNS@compuserve.com> The "place" is crucial. That is, the audience as the "place" of mobilization. You can only mobilize believers whose hearts are ALREADY committed to Him. To mobilize disobedient Christians is to risk reproducing them in other cultures... These people [may] love Jesus; they just don't know the scope of His business these days. If they are not only uncommitted to world evangelization but not committed to Him, they don't need mission mobilization; they need REVIVAL.




Orig posted on <KGAP-FUNDRAISING@XC.ORG> on 5/15/96

Eric, ..As someone who whole-heartedly believes in relationship rather than structure for accountability, but who has to date depended on "newsletters" to satisfy the connection needs of current as well as would-be contributors, your notes have struck a chord of inconsistency. Adjustment may be necessary... difficult... but necessary.

The only thing that I might add, however, is that there may be a balance to be struck in the newsletter versus total personal correspondence routes. I have no experience to base this on, and very little training in these areas outside of simple trial and error over the last five years, but perhaps some advice could be gleaned from the leadership models which present the 80-20 principles. For instance, many local churches are...looking at models of concentrating intense development on 20% of the congregation, those which show true development potential and commitment. The idea is that the securing of the 20% builds a solid foundation upon which the church will grow, and who can be used as a primary means of touching the other 80%. This coincides with the idea that 80% of the "production" of a local church is accomplished by 20% of the congregation... you get the idea.

Perhaps this could be applied to the world of correspondence maintenance and the interpersonal relationships as well. 20% would be the targets of absolute, personal correspondence, while a newsletter-- simple and as personal as possible-- could satisfy that other 80%. (In rough figures, of course!) Outside of the dilemnas that may be present in choosing the constituencies, there may be something in this of value to some who may not have the drive to address all as directly as you do...BvD <102470.2671@CompuServe.COM>

Steve, Good question. Let me begin by answering that I do not spend time doing the following: *Flying home to thank everyone, raise funds AND look for new donors *Preparing newsletters and other mass mailings -- 6 to 12 x's per year *Trying to find new donors, sponsors, partners, supporters, etc......

However: *When we do go home we have time to listen to those we visit, as they've been reading our personal correspondence and know what's happening with us. Folks listened to tend to take a greater interest in us because we have time for them. *We are amazed at the folks who have our post cards on the frig and actually remember things we've written - 'cause it's to THEM. OK, now to your question --

On an average it takes me about four hours per week. I average about ten cards, notes or letters per hour. So in the course of the year that gives me about 2000 personal communication opportunities. (I do confess that since I now use the computer for letters and not a typewriter and no longer by longhand, that it's as quick to write a letter as it is a post card. I still prefer cards and attempt to use them every other time I write to someone.) We have about 40 very regular sponsors and I write them 10-12 times per year, once for each gift. So for them it is about 400 to 480 of the 2000 possible notes. There are about fifty more who help from time to time. For them it's maybe six notes per year. That is about 300 of the 2000. Remember, each of the 780 (+/-) so far receive personal correspondence. About another 100 write during the year and that's another 100 PLUS I write them a second time about six months later. So this group uses about 200 of the notes. I've now used up about half of the 2000, so I have 1000 personal communication opportunities left! These remaining 1000 are divided into different groups: Some will hear from me twice, some three and others maybe four. So if two hundred folks receive a personal card or note twice a year that's another 400. One hundred more get three so there's another 300. And if a different 50 receive four, that's 200. So in all those 2000 cards, notes and letters, I actually correspond with about 540 different folks!

Think what it takes to prepare and mail 540 newsletters -- xx times per year -- and who really reads 'um? Eric Voelz 100734.43@CompuServe.COM



> QUESTION From SteveHoke@XC.Org (Steve Hoke) > I am finding it almost too much to sort through all the Brigada > stuff each day that is not relevant to me. I know it is like > browsing the wall street journal, but it takes time and money > every day. Do you have any suggestions on how to preview stuff > before I download it, open it and take the time to scan it. > If I don't some relief, I'm thinking of dropping out.

ANSWER from <NateWilson@XC.org>`

Are you able to see the sender's address and the subject line on your email before receiving it? That could be one way to sort through stuff before downloading it. I've been trying to be very thorough with my subject lines. For instance, if all you're looking for in Brigada-orgs-missionmobilizers is the NEWSBRIEFS, you can only look for those messages that say "NEWSBRIEF" in the subject.

Another strategy may be to subscribe to digest-oriented lists rather than to live conferences. "Closed-messaging" conferences like Brigada, Brigada-orgs-missionmobilizers, and conferences that say "-digest" in their title will provide more condensed and perhaps more relevant information. These type of lists send out a limited amount of messages condensed from a lot of the "live- conferencing" out there.

Another thing is not to subscribe to things that you're not really interested in reading. No matter how many conferences you subscribe to, you'll miss something or other, and that's just life. Find 2 or 3 editors whom you trust to publish good, digest-oriented conferences on subjects you need info on, and just read them. (It may take some time to look at different lists before you can make that decision, though.)

ANSWER From: Chris`

I dread going away for even a few days, only to find 50 or more messages from the 3 forums I participate in, plus my work e-mail and personal e-mail. It's info overload in a serious way...Even businesses are aware of how the Internet is slowing productivity in their companies, and managers are now assigning specific times for workers to access their e-mail on the job. It seems that every salvific technology has its demonic side-effects.

One of the methods I use with CompuServe is to download my e-mail without opening the messages. Then I disconnect and browse through my mail at leisure, without worrying about extra charges. Another alternative is to buy an off-line navigator such as the NavCis Pro program. This is an off-line navigator program that saves time and money on-line. A similar product exists for the Internet called Oui, or Off-line Usenet Interface for the Internet. The navigator is used to perform repetitive tasks, like accessing e-mail, favorite forums, weather or news info, etc. Data searches or Web browses still have to be done on-line. There are many off-line navigators ranging from free shareware to $100 Cadillacs that tailor your data into personalized newsletters. Some of these include TAPCIS, AutoSIG, and Eudora 2.02 for Windows (this last one excels in e-mail management on the Internet).