Global Outreach 2020
Trinity’s Vision for Global Engagement
The purpose of this document is to outline Trinity’s 2020 vision for global engagement. We consulted ministry leaders at Trinity, missions partners and other North American churches. These shifts in ministry design and focus are a result of over a year of listening, reflection and conversation by GO’s Lead Discernment Community (GO-LDC). Recognizing the collective nature of good discernment we sought wisdom and insight from ministry colleagues to ensure appropriate visioning and ministry framing for one of Trinity’s priority areas.
Affirmation by the Lead Pastor, the Executive Pastor, and many Elders on alignment with Trinity’s long-term goals, philosophy of ministry, and core DNA was of high value to the GO-LDC. We are grateful that they —and other Trinity stakeholders including staff and key volunteers — have enthusiastically reiterated that missio dei, the mission of God, continues to be essential to Trinity’s identity, our gospel proclamation, and ongoing ministry praxis. We used Trinity’s vision frame to shape ministry projections and activities.
We are well aware that many of the details of the proposed initiatives will evolve as we move forward, especially as interactions continue with Trinity-based GO leaders, missionaries and strategic partners. We believe that the proposed guiding values and paradigm shifts (p.13) are sufficiently compelling to not allow us to remain with the status quo.
This document also attempts to communicate transparently and succinctly the thinking behind proposed changes to Trinity’s Global Outreach program. The ideas expressed here will influence GO’s Annual Ministry Plans from 2018 to 2020. As is normative at Trinity, those Annual Ministry Plans — which are Elder affirmed — are the ones that ultimately guide ministry execution.
If you are reading this, thank you for your willingness to be part of Global Outreach’s efforts to discern better priorities and goals for the next few years of ministry. Your presence on the journey ahead is warmly welcomed.
The GO-LDC: Rich Applegate, Deanne Beson, Charlie & Kris Davis, Larry & Connie James, Matthew & Anita Philip, George & Glenda Rader, Tim & Heather Spedoske and Mike Weller.Page Break
10,000 ft. perspective on global missions at Trinity today
The rise of post-modernism and secularism shifted Europe towards a post-Christian era; now North America seems to be heading that way. The continuing decline of the Western church and its ability to make disciples has precipitated a church that exists increasingly for itself and its local members, not as active participants in missio dei. Also, in recent decades the center of gravity of the Church quietly shifted from the West to the global south. Our 20th century North American missions models need to rapidly morph or we will continue our slide towards irrelevancy.
Countries and people groups that were earlier on the receiving end of missions-sending have matured and are today increasingly missional in their own respect. The world of missions is characterized by: initiatives ‘from everywhere to everywhere’, national stakeholders, greater diversity in the evangelical expression of faith & life, non-Western leaders and paradigms, new centers of training, and multi-cultural styles of leadership. If we are not more closely engaged with our global sisters and brothers, we will neither be part of the story God is writing, nor near Kingdom frontlines.
The world has become a much smaller place. Global travel is relatively inexpensive and quick. Technology has facilitated economical and quality access to most of the world. Significant people migrations across the globe, especially refugees, are re-defining the locus of ‘the field.’ And, we live in an increasingly global economy where many of our church members work in environments that engage those from other cultures. The opportunities to do life (and missions) from a strategically located (for missional purposes!) platform are exponentially increasing. Good research, new models, courageous pioneers, etc. are all the need of the hour.
These global shifts, among others, have important implications on how churches in North America (re-)engage in Kingdom work. Some modes of engagement that were effective and appropriate as recently as the 80’s and 90’s have become irrelevant and potentially harmful to the dignity and impact of the global church. New and important questions are arising in this era of change: What does partnership look like? Who is in the driver’s seat? Is the center of missions ‘the urban center’ or the ‘tribal village’? What is the most effective use of western financial resources? What does effective sending (for that matter, gracious receiving) look like in the 21st century?, etc. We are committed to listening to & learning from one another, visioning & discerning together, working & suffering side-by-side — becoming increasingly inter–dependent.
A better understanding of discipleship and the purpose of the church is critical. Dallas Willard alluded to one of its key roles being the setting where one learns the spiritual disciplines necessary to live for the King in whatever sphere of influence He gives!
Since its inception in 1952, Trinity has had three core strands in its DNA: a passion for Biblical teaching, a bias toward the University, and a love for missions. The latter has historically been primarily demonstrated through significant financial commitment to missionary support. Trinity hosted its first missionary conference in 1955! Over the years, Trinity has funded missions with approximately ten million dollars, supporting over 100 missionaries who served in about 35 countries! Cleon Morrill, Carol Wilson, Steve Whelan, and Wally Hostetter, among many others, were instrumental in keeping Trinity’s missions flame burning.
Trinity adopted the classical North American missions model: form a missions committee (on the church’s sidelines) to manage the support of missionaries, primarily through finances. In some cases direct and strong relationships with the missionaries resulted in a refreshing of the congregation. In most situations, the occasional prayer letter and home visit sufficed as indicators of success. We unfortunately did not track impact, number of churches planted, lives transformed, or leaders released. As was normative then, missionaries were directed and managed by their sending agencies. One could label this initial season of 55+ years as Global Outreach 1.0.
In 2008, Trinity hired staff from outside the church with the clear mandate to change the existing missions model. This sparked a season of collective learning, evaluation, and fresh ideas.
Global Outreach 2.0 moved the lens from a singular focus on the missionary to include the story of the global church in the missionary’s context. The success of missions now included questions of intentional impact, local church engagement, and vision validation by ground partners. On the home front, the journey was one of expanding the circle of engagement from the missions committee to include the congregation, the real center of missio dei. Exploring church to church partnerships, sometimes even without a missionary as an intermediary, led to more life-on-life engagement and wider impact. Direct field interventions on behalf of missionaries, parallel care mechanisms for them, and missionary advocacy by Trinity with their respective agencies, etc. have become commonplace as the role of mission agencies narrowed towards recruitment and field placement.
More recently, the GO leadership attempted to intentionally discern God’s will on matters of His mission versus the mere adoption of current best practices. These efforts have led to changing ministry values and emphases that call the GO community to (re)open ourselves to the transforming work of God, as a higher priority than strategy, best practices, or additional resourcing.
These potential ministry shifts were not hatched in isolation. We are grateful for the collegiality we experienced from Trinity leaders, other missions pastors, and ministry thought-shapers. The patient friendships of our global partners and their gentle teaching as we try to become more faithful has blessed and strengthened Trinity. We are humbly grateful to God for the favor shown us in the recent years, and excited about the challenges ahead.
Let’s journey forward, together.
Paradigm Shifts Over the Last Eight Years
The following paradigm shifts describe the ideas and thoughts that have shaped Trinity’s missions program, and its ministry philosophy.
From traditional “west to the rest” to better listening
From focus on the missionary to also include the mission of the missionary
From responding to needs out there to being sensitive to missio dei among Trinity people
From any mission vision to alignment with Trinity’s GO priorities1
From one missions team to a web of leadership teams, including departmental partnerships
From super-hero status for the sent missionary to normal discipleship for all
From Trinity-centric relationships to increasing mutuality and respect with church partners
From missions agency leadership to parallel Trinity care systems
From ‘best management practices’ to discernment of God’s purposes
From ‘battle for the platform’ to alternate communication mechanisms
From missionary as only partner model to the broader Kingdom Professional understanding
Year of reflection and re-visioning!
This section attempts to provide a broad internal assessment of current Global Outreach elements. This summary provides the backdrop against which we outline possibilities for 2020.
Our vision statement, last updated in 2016, has evolved over the last few years as we better understood missions, the changing global context and specific field situations. We have consistently attempted to stay aligned with Trinity’s multiple iterations of vision/mission during this period.
2016 Vision Statement
“Awakening people to full life with Christ, at Trinity and through our global partners, as evidenced by
Healthy teams that discern, develop and sustain
Missional relationships and visible transformation which accelerate
Kingdom expansion and church growth.”
Current Core Ministry Elements
1. Volunteer Leadership Teams
We have moved quite successfully to releasing teams (groups of people with a purpose!) to lead various aspects of Trinity’s global engagement. Some of the GO teams are: the GO Lead Discernment Community, Strategic Partnership Leaders & Communities, Advocacy Team Leaders & Communities, GO Finance Team, Kingdom Advancement Grant Teams, and the Global Christian Forum. We have 59 leaders serving on 12 teams. The total number of people associated with all the teams is approximately 500!
Comment: Teams have been organized and leaders identified. However, quality training, coaching or investment in these teams has been minimal. The teams possess varying degrees of competency and influence, but overall have been exceptional in their willingness to jump in and make a difference in their areas of ministry focus. Potential clustering of Advocacy Teams into Regional Clusters is being considered for greater synergy, especially during the early launch stages.
2016 Priority2: ★ ★ ★
2. Sent Missionaries
We are currently engaged with 28 missionary units (including associates) serving in 17 countries. We also maintain cordial relationships with an additional 22, who have either retired or returned States-side to other assignments. We refer to this group as Trinity’s Legacy Team. The 2016 support budget for current missionaries was approximately $250K.
Comment: The management of sent missionaries works relatively smoothly when compared to similar-sized North American churches. The pastoral investment by the Bolands as Missionary Care Coordinators and recent enhanced communication from the GO Office (thanks to Deanne!) has resulted in better relational dynamics all around. Missionary recruitment is passive at best. The Evans in Taiwan, the Shephards in Nigeria, Ruth Okello in Kenya, and the Restans in Colombia reflect the kind of missionaries we sense the future is made of: vocational professionals who partner with local Christians to advance missional goals. Our observation is that generalists continue to struggle to have meaningful engagement or impact, especially in restricted-access areas of the globe.
2016 Priority: ★ ★
3. Strategic Partnerships
We have eight church-to-church relationships in seven countries. Shaping these partnerships has been a significant part of our commitment to re-center the role of the local church in missions. Strategic partnerships are based on a mutual commitment to journey together, and while on that journey, to together discern a missional agenda. Shared vision, meaningful relationships, and measurable results have characterized this endeavor. We bias toward building partnerships on inherent strengths and gifting, not presenting needs. The SPs have been Trinity’s primary source of relational connectivity with the global church!
Comment: These partnerships have provided Trinity significant congregational engagement and learning, adding significant vitality and multiple ministry opportunities. There is the constant (normal) tension between our partners’ infrastructure needs, and real and pressing missional opportunities for meaningful co-laboring. Clearer Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)4, tighter missional foci, better financial guidelines, and the need to develop equivalent SP teams on the field appear to be necessary next steps. Intentional investment of GO leadership is necessary to continue to mature these partnerships.
2016 Priority: ★ ★ ★ ★
4. Kingdom Advancement Grants
In 2017, Trinity gave over $250K in KAGs. Over the last six years we have granted close to a million dollars to our global partners for catalytic ministry initiatives. The KAG committee does good work; the double-blind decision making process has helped build a high level of trust and confidence on the utilization/impact of the funds.
Comment: GO budget cuts in 2015 & 2016 affected the KAG corpus; however (compensating) generous giving by the congregation directly into the KAG Fund allowed GO to continue to respond to all qualifying grant applications. Additional pathways for disbursement of monies are needed, given that we appear to be reaching a certain level of saturation with our primary applicant constituency. Overall financial accountability continues to be high with a smoothly functioning GO Finance Team responsible for oversight of all GO expenditures, accounting processes, and financial strategy.
2016 Priority★ ★ ★
5. GO Staffing
Our office staff of two, advocates for GO priorities to Trinity staff, the Executive Team, and the Governing Elders; coordinates GO teams & Trinity-based activities; manages communication and care of missionaries, supporters, mission agencies; coaches strategic partners, helps develop MOUs, monitors relational health; manages about half a million dollars in missions monies and its reporting; organizes short-term trips and training; and generally keeps GO initiatives on track and in motion!
Other recent activities include: hosting the African Children’s Choir, the Compassion Experience, GO-Focus Weekends; coordinating visiting global speakers and missionary/partners, 41 students from 8 countries for Urbana 2015; and promoting the Justice Conference, the Freedom Tour, and the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World.
We are also engaged with significant national and international networks and think tanks: Lausanne, WEA Missions Commission, Urbana, Mission Pastors Network, Missio Nexus, The 6+6 Think Tank, and the Transforming Center’s Cohort.
Comment: It is very easy to invest time, energy, and money ad infinitum to develop even better systems and processes. Aware of that tendency, we need to examine current office practices to ensure we are investing our best efforts in initiatives that are producing significant impact. The potential hire of a Coordinator for Communications, Events and Classes, and the need to expand the GO Staff Team with key volunteers is increasingly urgent with anticipated ministry expansion.
2016 Priority: ★ ★ ★
6. International Ministry: GO>Connect
International Ministry was transferred from Groups & Training to Global Outreach in 2008. The primary focus of the ministry then was a Sunday gathering, and a once a week “Teaching English School” that allowed for a large number of tutors from Trinity and a significant number of international students.
The development of volunteer leadership team, delegating responsibilities to unit leaders, and external consultancy with Gordy Decker all helped to streamline and focus the ministry. However, the stress of no longer being physically located right next to the MSU campus, the desire from ESL tutors to change the pedagogy, and the disappearance of an explicit bias for the next generation has handicapped this ministry. Recent attempts to focus ministry philosophy on ‘connection groups’, volunteer leader empowerment, and moving the locus of the ministry to the Marigold House near MSU, is slowly but surely moving in the directions of increasing ministry energy and impact.
In spite of these challenges, GO>Connect has touched about 45 international students, and developed a core team of highly dedicated and competent volunteer leaders.
Comment: The signals regarding International Ministry have been conflicting. Yes, we had monies to purchase a ministry house next to campus, but we do not have a stated ministry priority for the 18-30 year olds. A decision by Trinity leadership to hire a much needed part-time International Ministry Pastor/Director, after the retirement of the last full-time one, is awaited.
Whether International Ministry continues under GO’s umbrella or not, a clear mandate from Trinity leadership on 18-30 year olds (the next generation), on GO>Connect, and on the priority of MSU would be welcome.
2016 Priority: ★
Section Note: In April 2011, the management and financial support for local compassion ministries and University-based missionaries became a separate department: Local Outreach. When there is clearer LO leadership, philosophy and ministry (including Love Lansing) integrative conversations and efforts will be needed to see LO and GO on the same missions philosophy spectrum. We look forward to a singular Outreach/Missions ministry in due time.
Core elements of the 2020 vision
Further Shifts Necessary for GO 3.0
Over the last year, from numerous conversations and multiple times of prayer and listening, the GO-LDC recognized that we were being nudged toward even more change, for better missions. We continue to be grateful for the many voices that have spoken encouragement, correction and refinement into our thinking and articulation. We believe that this September we have the opportunity to launch Global Outreach 3.0, the third phase of missions ministry at Trinity.
By 2020 we desire to see even more Trinity/Lansing people engaged in meaningful missional relationships with our global partners, in the global economy, and in places where justice and righteousness are yet to leave a mark.
The following guiding values and paradigm shift markers are seen as necessary, over the next three years, guiding our decision making, clarifying competing priorities, and evaluating real change:
- Become a transforming community of disciples who are together called to missions.
People who “hang with the missions teams” should experience sufficient stimulus and opportunity for spiritual transformation, individually and collectively – continuing the move from teamwork to community, even as we engage in missions!
- Develop a new locus of ministry for missions at Trinity.
Instead of focusing on the challenges of platform access or the limitations of our website, experiment with a new gathering time and place that would provide a gathering place for missions at Trinity.
- Focus ministry energy in areas of evident divine activity & blessing.
We face decreasing financial resources (not necessarily a bad thing) and core leaders with limited time. Strategic focus (saying “not now”, and “not there”) will be important to navigate this season, as well as to better steward our volunteer leaders.
- Invite new stakeholders.
Extend a hand of partnership to other Lansing churches, networks in other countries, vocational professionals, etc., to participate with us in missional activities. We sense that a spirit of generosity, collaboration, and invitation will mark our next season.
- Develop a preferential bias.
Prioritize young adults in our congregation, the placement of professionals in the global economy, and the re-engagement of retiring professionals.
- Do not give up on the uphill battle to keep missions as part of our DNA
Continue to re-center a missional core in the Gospel proclaimed at Trinity; to seek fresh ways to increase the congregation’s Missions Quotient (MQ) in terms of global awareness and engagement. Good missions is a product of a maturing church that recognizes the core of the Gospel as inherently missional.
- Invest in new learning environments.
On the field (and at Trinity) compensate for the current absence of missions coaching and intentional spiritual transformation coaching. The next generation, millennial learning styles, decentralized missions structures, weakening missions agencies, etc., all call for the church to innovate in training and releasing a new group of transforming witnesses.
2020 Vision Statement
In light of Trinity’s mission: awakening people to full life with Christ, and GO’s priority: to encourage missional churches and pioneering initiatives in strategic situations5, we will build transformational communities that develop and sustain global missional relationships.
Proposed Ministry Changes
There has been general consensus with this assessment of current GO practices and priorities, and the guiding values and paradigm shifts discerned as essential for Trinity’s future. The GO-LDC at their June 2017 retreat affirmed that further change is necessary to remain faithful to the ministry growth journey we are on. Including the positive and helpful feedback generated by numerous interactions with earlier drafts of this document by various stakeholders, some of those changes could include:
1. Monthly Gathering of GO Community NEW INITIATIVE
A monthly missions gathering (2-3 times a quarter; once in summer) to:
A. Nurture a community that knows one another well, build and deepen relationships. Key elements: fellowship over a meal, worship, prayer, and story-telling.
B. Provide meeting space for the various GO teams to gather for ministry work, member care, ministry planning, prayer, correspondence, Skype calls, etc. This will also be an opportunity for new people to get a glimpse of missions in action.
Comments: A fixed time and place to develop a passionate core for missions at Trinity is critical; this then becomes the central locus of missions activity at Trinity. If people are part of a GO Ministry Team, they won’t have to meet separately outside of this time, reducing the coordinating and organizing burden for that team. Picture the atrium with 15-20 tables, with high-capacity leaders making a global difference!
If community-building and story sharing (millennial characteristics) become dominant elements of the Wednesday gathering, we could consider shifting the team-meeting/ministry-work portion to a Sunday morning, once a quarter, for an hour or two.
Priority: ★ ★ ★ ★
2. KAG and SP Programs EVALUATE, STRENGTHEN and EXPAND
See page 10 ff. There is significant momentum in these two aspects of Global Outreach. 2017-18 could be a year to further build into these two successful programs by delegating their development to a group of leaders, considering a review period, for example, launching the KAG 2018 process 6 months later in January 2018, refreshing KAG guidelines with the Governing Elders, and revising SP guidelines in consultation with SP teams here at Trinity and on the field.
Priority: ★ ★ ★ ★
3. Missionary Resourcing SHARPEN MISSIONAL FOCUS and INCREASE SUPPORT
Missionary support, recruitment, and evaluation needs to get better, not only for stronger missions, but to attract new candidates. We have steadily made progress in this area over the years, but yet have miles to go. The following changes could be considered:
A. Further refine our Sending Process to align with those missionaries who embrace this vision. Help those who are not yet there. Next year, launch the beta version of the missionary evaluation tool which GO helped develop with a couple of other churches and missions agencies. Courage, wisdom, and great gentleness are needed here to define a group of missionaries (Kingdom professionals, included) who model what we believe to be excellent missions strategy, and incarnational life-styles!
B. Gradually increase the annual support budget for those in the ‘aligned’ group. Develop a support philosophy to better differentiate support from the church organization versus support from a church attendee or family member. Here are some thoughts for a differentiated support model:
– send a base support amount annually to the missions agency
– set aside a specific amount for the missionary to visit Trinity every 2 years to be part of couple of weeks of community interaction (Advocacy Team building/ discernment/retreat, church-dinner, R&R, day of prayer and blessing, etc.) in Lansing organized by the Advocacy Team Leaders
– set aside an additional amount in matching grants from Trinity/GO to match individual contributions from Trinity attendees (we have not yet been able to correlate these two support sources!)
– set aside monies for expenses associated with an annual field visit from the Advocacy Team to encourage the missionary and their family, get to know field realities, and connect with local leaders, partners, and believers
– provide access to a $50K missionary care fund, for emergencies
Comment: We need to shift from any missionary is a good missionary to continuing to refine what we believe effective missionaries look like; highlighting these people and their missional work. Adopting some of the changes above will continue our journey towards excellence, more significant impact, and increased congregational engagement.
Priority: ★ ★ ★
4. Champion ‘Kingdom Professionals’ NEW CONCEPT
This is a new term; more of a placeholder as we better define and develop the concept. We are not currently attracting the best of our people for global engagement (a.k.a missions), though we do a fairly decent job recruiting them for missions program support. How can we redefine opportunities for our best teachers, doctors, engineers, business people, therapists, trainers, etc. to be part of the global missions force — not necessarily for life; maybe just for a 3-5 year (renewable) term?
The concept envisions vocational professionals employed in the global economy (shift of location), appropriately linked with local believers (shift of community), God-honoring missional relationships and efforts (shift of purpose) at their places of work and life. For example, if a doctor is located in Beijing at an international hospital and has intentionally carved out time to serve, she could help further train and equip five local student nurses we know who are almost ready to move into an unreached part of China.
We are hoping to launch a six month exploration in fall 2017 with Christian professionals to see how best we could recruit and place Kingdom Professionals in close proximity to people groups with critical missional needs. In addition, we plan to examine whether GO>Connect, our International Students ministry program, might also be a venue to champion Kingdom Professionals. If so, we would keep this program under GO’s leadership and invest more directly.
Priority: ★ ★ ★
5. Increase Congregational MQ (Missions Quotient) DON’T GIVE UP! 🙂
Transformational mission is the heart of the Gospel. However, GO efforts to be part of Trinity’s main messaging over the weekend have not been successful. Missions is still seen as a nice, and at times, exotic add-on, not part of the core of the weekend ministry. We have had far greater success in influencing other departments9, and are grateful for the existing collaborative spirit. We are committed to continuing to attempt to shape Trinity’s overall philosophy of ministry, and praxis, even as we develop other avenues for influence (i.e., monthly gatherings, the web, social media, etc.).
A. Continue Lobbying for Mission Integration
Whether it’s working with Trinity’s Worship Arts team (WATA) on their worship philosophy, or influencing the preaching schedule’s priorities, GO will continue to ask to be heard. Other suggestions could include a once a quarter review by all Directors of the past quarter’s weekend services and the next six months. This allows for better integration and more diversity in designing what is still the cornerstone of Trinity’s weekly ministry.
We want to shift from solely attempting to make God known through reporting (i.e. statistics, mission events, etc.) to making Him known through storytelling. This will impact GO and Trinity by showcasing and sharing our core missional and theological beliefs, and not just talking about them. The stories themselves become a dynamic invitation to worship and mission. Also important is the creation of a listening culture and not just a sharing one. Entering into others’ stories helps us all find our own invitation and place in God’s bigger story.
C. Integration of Stories
One of the essential elements to storytelling is having a place for stories to be heard and to continue to live. We envision continued and increased integration of stories in the main services as well as online, from live, in-person sharing to static web pages and dynamic social content. We want our partners around the world to have equal access and opportunity to listen to, as well as to share stories.
Priority: ★ ★ ★
6. Learning Environments NEW APPROACH
Develop a Basic Missions curriculum (experiential and group-based) to develop an informed and engaged passionate core. Instead of the normative class-based approach, create innovative Learning Environments that cater to the learning needs of various groups: short-term folk, Advocacy Team leaders, missionaries, global interns, missionary candidates, etc.
For the first 18 months we anticipate a core group of trainers emerging, as well as the development of a master curriculum that includes: spiritual gifts assessment, basic discipleship, discerning God’s will, team dynamics, vision clarification, need assessment, better missions, synergistic partnerships, etc.
The recent six week STMT class based on Helping Without Hurting and the mission trips to Tijuana in 2015 & 2016 encourage us to lean into innovative ways to train and disciple. Of particular interest is the possibility of Learning Environments being in another country, designed around the specific needs of missionaries and/or global partners.
Internship Program. It is quite conceivable that an internship program, similar to the one run by Mamlaka Hill Chapel (Kenya), could emerge for young adults in Lansing with a bias for church and missions ministry. With enough flexibility in the master curriculum we could have a program that would benefit other Trinity departments. Would we need to begin to set aside monies to purchase a building to house the Interns, especially if we have global participants? It is not difficult to see the building being used to also extend hospitality to our global partners who may need a place for rest, or a sabbatical.
Comments: As we begin to offer more stimulating and engaging learning environments, we believe more people will want to understand God’s purposes for the nations, and their potential role. We would be redirecting, for the first time, a portion of missions-budget dollars for pre-missions-sending training, and not classical missions support; a paradigm shift!
Priority: ★ ★
7. Modify 2016 Ministry Elements CANNOT KEEP ON ADDING… SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE
A. If we prioritize #1-5 above, some ongoing ministry elements will have to be scaled back, even if we expand GO’s current staff of two! Please see the ‘comments’ section after each of the Current Core Ministry Elements’ (p. 9-13) for suggested changes which will need additional resourcing. Within each of those ministry elements some sort of ministry contraction will need to be found.
B. Besides contracting in some areas, expanding and reorganizing the existing GO staff structure to support expected ministry growth will be essential. Potentially, Deanne could be re-tasked with Administration and Education/Training, be responsible for our Missional Quotient Initiatives and overhaul our Communication practices.
We would restructure GO to include more gifted volunteer leaders in the execution of the GO program. With more load sharing we will continue creating space for high quality leadership. We would also like to see a global intern in place within 12 months.
Matthew would potentially be more outward-focused, building networks and helping our global partners with strategic planning, missional focus, and spiritual formation. He would also be responsible for listening to global trends and opportunities, guiding Trinity in ministry expansion (or contraction) as we shift to greater engagement in more challenging environments.
C. Eight years of a passive financial posture saw the steady decrease of mission dollars to the current 8%10. The proposed 2020 priorities will need significant dollars to cover projected costs for congregational training, more generous missionary support, internship development for young adults, and more frequent engagement of our global partners with us here in Lansing.
Monies beyond the $2.5K per partnership already earmarked for AT/SP leaders to invest in relationships, may need to be re-evaluated especially if travel and hospitality costs increase beyond what would be considered reasonable personal investment.
Initial projections suggest we would need to add approximately 1% to the GO ministry budget for the next three years to deliver all that is proposed. Also, a second limited-term fund may need to be built (via the budget) to support investment in Trinity attendees (partial scholarships to: attend a Learning Community, spend a month with a missionary family, explore Kingdom Professional opportunities in the global economy, etc.), and to defray at least some of the costs incurred by GO volunteer leaders.
Priority: ★ ★
Once we have a sense of 2018 Ministry Plans and Budget mid-August – after the standard review and allocation process – we will have a better idea how best to stagger the change process.
By October/November we will begin to add names of people, target dates, and simple action plans to the ideas and goals above.
Thought Shapers & Ministry Guardrails
List of Current GO Documents & Policies
The list below are the titles of various documents GO has developed over the past few years. Once we receive final direction in the form of Ministry Plan approval for 2017-18 and associated budget allocation, we will update these documents to guide 2017–20 priorities.
Advocacy Team Leader Outline
D2 (Discernment & Development) Circle Summary
KAG — Request for Proposal*
Launching a C2C Strategic Partnership*
Sending Process for Missionaries & Kingdom Professionals*
Short Term Missions Trips
Missionary Transition Policy
Trinity Fundraising Policy
List of GO Missionaries and GO Core
* Samples of these three most frequently used documents, are included in this Section.
(This is a copy of Trinity’s guiding document for new missionaries. It also outlines the values that shape our engagement in the missionary sending process.)
* Clear evidence of ongoing spiritual formation, cross-cultural evangelism and discipleship
* Evidence of transformational engagements in a small group, church and the local community
* Evidence of life alignment with missional calling and goals
* Doctrinal and philosophical alignment with the Lausanne Covenant
* Sufficient grasp of the strengths and needs of the national church and potential fit and role
* Ministry goal in line with Trinity’s missions priorities:
o Strengthening the church among less reached people groups
o Church planting among unreached people groups
o Strategic intervention on behalf of the poor and marginalized
* Potential spot on a healthy team with a clear and compelling vision (Kingdom Professional network or mission agency)
* Formal Application and Review
* Go through the D2 Process (Discern & Develop) to confirm readiness
* Build an Advocacy Team of 3-5 Trinity attendees who will gather once a month to pray.
* Language learning, culture learning (2 years)
* Mutual discernment and confirmation of missional focus with national church, or KP network
* Field leader conversation for strategic missional clarity, team role, and national church partnership/engagement
Affirmation of Engagement
* Decision on category: supported missionary or Kingdom Professional
* Development of ministry/Kingdom influence plan
* Development of learning plan
* Evaluation every 2 years
* Formal launch by Advocacy Team and Church Leadership
Launching a C2C Strategic Partnership
(This is a copy of Trinity’s guiding document for new partnerships. It also outlines the values and ideas surrounding our Strategic Partnerships.)
Goal: Accelerating Kingdom expansion through global church to church partnerships.
- Relationship with church leadership and pastor
- Congruence with Trinity’s vision frame and the Lausanne Covenant
- Transparency on planning, governance and finances
- Transformational/missional vision and praxis (Acts 1:8)
- Part of a denomination, network, or association
- Priority of spiritual transformation (discipleship) in church DNA
- Generous friendship characterized by mutual learning, honor and trust
First Stage: Global Friend (key idea: friendship)
- Identify core leaders (4 here, 4 there)
- Identify teams, here and there
- List “potential joint-missional wins”
- 3 year covenant
- Evidence of authentic friendship
- Affirmation by church leadership
- No KAG Access
Second Stage: Strategic Partner (key idea: ministry partnership)
- 3 years to fulfill covenant
- Transactional 2-way relationship continues
- Annual covenant evaluation
- KAG participation
Third Stage: Global Friend (key idea: friendship)
- Covenant completion, or development of next covenant
- Ongoing 4+4 relationship
- No KAG Access
Request for Proposal
(This is a copy of Trinity’s guiding document for the KAG process.)
Trinity Church, through its Global Outreach team, is delighted to make available funds to catalyze strategic ministry endeavors that will help expand His Kingdom and build His Church. These funds are made available to our Global Outreach partners.*
Trinity will provide multiple grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, depending upon the availability of funds and the number of qualifying applications. Kingdom Advancement Grants are primarily funded by Trinity attendee’s faithful weekend giving.
*missionaries, missionary associates, resource team members, strategic partnerships, advocacy team leaders, Trinity members actively involved in global missions outside of Trinity’s formal partnerships
Priority will be given to those proposals focusing on:
- Evangelism and church planting, especially among unreached people groups
- Strategic intervention on behalf of the poor and marginalized
- Increased availability of Scripture
- Leadership training and development
- Innovative church-based cross-cultural outreach
The grants are not intended for meeting the day-to-day or personal needs, but are primarily intended to stimulate the direct ministry of our global mission partners.
Applications will be accepted through November 1, 2016. Please submit applications (including the application cover sheet) electronically to [email protected] Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt and vetted through a double-blind process involving Global Outreach’s KAG Committee. For those that received a grant in 2016, a satisfactory report should be turned in before applying in 2017.
There are several values in addition to the priorities above that will guide the selection of proposals:
- Involvement of Trinity attendees
- Well-defined goals that reflect missional thinking
- Local and/or secondary resources: i.e. matching funds, volunteer labor, etc.
- Measurable objectives that can be achieved within 18-24 months (June-December, 2017)
- Potential for project sustainability and empowerment
- Past KAG reporting history
Complete the (attached) one-page application cover sheet and submit a two-to-five-page proposal narrative outlining the project, using the following headings:
- Opportunity: Describe the need, its history, and ministry significance.
- Proposed Solution: Describe how the KAG, if awarded, would meet the need and make a difference.
- Financials: Include information on how the award, if granted, will be utilized. i.e. project-specific budget, overhead expenses, other local and/or secondary resources.
- People Involvement: Indicate ways in which Trinity or local church attendees in your area may be involved.
Be prepared to provide a progress report within the first 9 months of the award and/or upon completion of the project, whichever comes first.
Please contact us directly at [email protected] if we can be of assistance in your development of a strong proposal. We are available to help with ideas and suggestions in the grant writing process.
2017 KAG recipients will be announced January 22, 2017 and awards disbursed the following week. Thank you!
Assumptions Influencing Our Thinking & Praxis
Transforming Mission, David Bosch
The Christian faith is “intrinsically missionary.” Christian mission starts with God on mission, especially in Jesus Christ. If Christian mission is a thing of the past, so is the Christian faith.
We study our methods and our plans constantly, from the perspective of commitment to the Christian, missionary faith. This commitment does not blind us to the faults of mission, but intensifies our desire to find and correct those faults.
We will never arrive at a perfect definition of mission. The Bible will give us guidance but no magic formulas for mission. The church in its mission is a sign of the Kingdom but never a perfect embodiment of it.
If a church defines mission only in terms of this-worldly activities like promoting justice or only in terms of saving souls for the world to come, it is not being true to the true God. His mission has both worlds clearly in view.
The difference between home and foreign missions is artificial. The difference between mission and “missions” is crucial. “Mission” refers to God’s own mission in which the church participates and to which it points. “Missions” refers to particular forms of mission the church develops in specific circumstances.
The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch
A true encounter with God in Jesus must result in worship, discipleship, and missions. These are marks of a covenanted community centered on Jesus.
Let the Nations Be Glad!, John Piper
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. God’s passion is to be known and honored and worshipped among all peoples. True worshippers who have tasted the goodness of the Lord will not be content until they have invited the nations to join them in the feast.
Making Your Partnerships Work, Daniel Rickett
Vision, relationship, and results depend on one another for wholeness. They are woven in partnership and ministry at its best.
An Invitation to a Journey, Mulholland
Spiritual Formation is the process of being formed in the image of Christ for the sake of others.
Other Key Resources:
The Making of a Leader, Clinton
Helping Without Hurting In Short-Term Missions, Corbett & Fikkert
Making Disciples Across Cultures, Davis
Western Christians in Global Mission: What’s the Role of the North American Church?, Borthwick
Overturning Tables: Freeing Missions from the Christian-Industrial Complex, Bessenecker
Changing the Mind of Missions: Where Have We Gone Wrong?, Engel & Dyrness
Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups, Barton
Christian Mission in the Modern World, Stott