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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Not Just Any Warm Body

Many of us on the field are active recruiters. We are always looking for people who would be especially suited for ministry in Western Europe. Many strategists find new partners by talking about their people group. They describe the beauty of the culture, the proud history of the people, and the great spiritual need among them. The idea, I suppose, is that God would use the stories to stir the hearts of listeners and get them excited about being part of ministry overseas. 

To most American churchgoers (even the really spiritual ones), people groups are all pretty much the same. Missionaries should be constantly talking about and advocating for their people group. That's how we raise support and awareness. 

But as a recruiting and raising support aren't the same thing. Telling stories of a people group's plight can tug at the heart strings, but as a recruiting (and filtering device), it only helps us find the most sensitive and emotional members of our audience. 

Recruitment is a funny concept, really. Are we looking for people to serve our people group or are we looking for people to join our team? In order to find people who are called, enthusiastic, and qualified to work with us, I believe we need to be casting a vision not only for local cultures and people groups, but also for our teams and strategies. A team that works well together and is committed to one another is worth a thousand that can't get along but really love their people group. 


Strider said...

I needed this post ten years ago. I spent years bringing out people, supporting them, training them, encouraging them. But too often they didn't care about the vision God had given me. They were not interested in our team's vision and what God had for us to do- and they resented it when I would try and encourage them to work with our vision.
Then, I learned. Now, I have a great team of people committed to the work that God has called us to AND to each other. I have discovered that to a large degree the work that God has called us to IS to love each other. We have a much better witness and impact on the nationals around us when we love each other well, work together well, live out the message well.
Now instead of looking for a 'doctor' or a 'computer guy' or even a 'Church Planter' I am looking for a fellow seeker of what God has for us together.

Camel rider said...

Great post.
I totally agree with the fact that we need to be advocates for our PG and at the same time recruiting based on the ethos and culture of our team. Churches do this in the states. A traditional FBC would never look at hiring David Crowder, nor the other way around.
I think when we stand before a congregation and describe our team culture and dynamics people are going to want to be a part of that. After my ISC term I went to work for Starbucks, not because I loved their coffee but because I loved the culture of their company. We need not discount this other road of calling as well. BTW, after I joined the work because of the culture I fell in love with the coffee. If they feel called to our team culture and style of ministry their love for the PG will follow soon after.