Saturday, October 21, 2006

Deep then Wide

How do we get missionaries to the field?

That is where our dialogue began. Several pastors and colleagues began meeting and praying as we sought God's direction together--seeking to answer this question.

However, as our journey has progressed and the circle of dialogue has widened, our conversations have taken several turns and we have meandered down various paths. The culmination of discussions and prayer is a sense of God's direction. For me, it has been a challenging and educational experience.

The bottom line is I believe God is leading us to launch Global Connection Partnership Network as an entity that will initially focus on developing and training persons in missions. I have had numerous conversations with missions leaders from across the Baptist family and have received affirmation about this direction.

Our preliminary plans are to begin GCPN as a Global Learning Laboratory in its initial stages. We want to provide a place where persons can be trained from a holistic perspective to serve as missionaries. Our vision is to develop a model that can be replicated across the world as local churches respond to the challenge of embracing the Great Commission. We envision a learning environment that addresses cross-cultural training, character development and missiological strategy. One crucial piece of this approach involves supervised cross-cultural ministry during the training process.

In other words, our initial dialogue revolved around the issue of sending. We have not given up on the questions surrounding this significant issue. However, our dialogue has moved toward a discussion about preparation. Several of us in this discussion have sensed God's direction in developing a more comprehensive, church-based process of preparing and training missionaries. We believe the sending issues will be addressed by the community of churches that are involved in preparing people to go.

I have met with the leadership of WorldconneX, Partnership Missions and the Missions and Ministry teams of the BGCT about this development. We all sense that God is working to help each of these entities develop together as partnering, complementary entities.

Let's pray together as we move ahead. I will keep you posted as things progress. I believe God is calling us to a deeper place with Him. The process of training is a deepening experience. I believe in the principle, deep then wide.




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