Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting to know ReachGlobal

We are back from Minnesota from our interviews with ReachGlobal! It was encouraging for us to get to know the mission better as well as to understand their in-depth evaluation process. The first day was allotted for us to take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). According to Wikipedia, the internet’s most likely source of true facts, the MMPI is one of the most frequently used personality tests in mental health. The 564 question assessment looks for trends and patterns of thinking in a person’s life. Overwhelming would be an understatement of how we felt after the test, but when they went over the results with us we definitely saw its practicality.

Day two could be summed up with the title “Get to know ReachGlobal.” We definitely enjoyed gaining a better understanding of the mission’s philosophies and operations. Their philosophy of ministry is presented in a book written by T.J. Addington, a Senior Vice President of the EFCA, entitled “Leading from the Sandbox.”

The idea is that a sandbox has four sides which hold the sand in place. The sides are what keep the sand contained. When carrying this concept into ministry, each missionary is given the opportunity and freedom to function in a way that will be most fruitful. However, Reach Global has put into place guidelines and principles that keep each missionary’s ministry focused. Some of the guiding principles are:

· We are Word based and Spirit-empowered
· We are team-led and team-driven
· We empower personnel
· We measure effectiveness
· We are a learning organization
· We resource for maximum ministry effectiveness

In addition to the guiding principles, Reach Global has a couple other ministry values that are put into place to keep their missionaries focused.  Their mission statement is:
We exist to glorify God by multiplying healthy churches among all people.”

Along those same lines, another focus is:
We are committed to healthy people, living in healthy community,
training healthy leaders to multiply healthy churches.”

Since that statement was confusing for Jamie and me, let me explain it to you.  The commitment to healthy people is a focus on making sure that the missionaries are in ministries for which they are suited AND that they are in a growing relationship with the Lord.  Healthy community means that they are dedicated to building teams that work well together instead of randomly placing missionaries in a country they chose.  Training healthy leaders is a new idea for most mission organizations.  Reach Global has changed their focus from American missionaries going overseas to do the work of evangelizing the lost.  Their new focus is having their missionaries go to countries with the goal of training that country’s national church to do the work of reconciliation.  All of this is for the goal of establishing healthy churches that replicate the early church instead of planting little American churches all around the world.

We were both super excited to hear how Reach Global operates and how, Lord willing, we could be a part of this mission in the future.  The way the process works now is that we must wait for an invitation to the next step of becoming a member.  If Reach Global leadership feels we are ready to join the mission, then we will be invited to go back to Minneapolis for additional training at the end of September.  If, Lord willing, we are accepted into the mission, then we will be considered Reach Global missionaries by October 3rd.  Please be praying for wisdom for the Reach Global team who are evaluating all of the possible missionary candidates this week.   

Allentown, PA airport at 5:30 AM before our flight.

Since Reach Global the international mission agency of the Evangelical Free Church of America, its headquarters are located within the headquarters of EFCA.

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