Our new standard in missions

missions to Cameroon
by Ivan Veldhuizen, director of international missions

Converge International Ministries wants to set the pace on seeing a new standard implemented in our engagements all around the world.

In the past two years, we have deployed 21 missionaries (12 couples or individuals) and we have redeployed another seven—often to a different place or with a new or modified strategy. The new standard in who, why and where to send is dependent upon whether a Western missionary can bring an added value to a country or people group—to meet a need or fill a niche the church there cannot accomplish without us. We are all about multiplying transformational churches (starting and strengthening them).

What we don’t want to do is:

Engage in a country or people group without an invitation on the other end. The only exception to this is where there are no believers to invite us.

Send Western missionaries to do something that indigenous Christians can do better. Rarely do we want to deploy our missionaries to do evangelism and church planting. Nationals on the ground don’t have the cultural barriers to cross in being the front-line workers in reaching a nation for Christ.

Send missionaries without a clear compelling reason for having them in this setting.

When we send missionaries, we do so because:

We can help multiply transformational churches in this setting—helping to start or strengthen churches. As said previously, we rarely do the front-line work, but we equip, encourage and assist national leaders to do it better than ever.

We want to develop transformational leaders. Steve Wilkinson, missionary in the Philippines, recently shared that he was signing diplomas of the graduates from Cebu School of Theology. He then noticed the other three signatures on each diploma—they were all former students who had been trained by him and our other missionaries working there. The three Filipinos were all in significant leadership roles, which is why they were signing these documents. Our Philippine missionaries are working themselves out of a job! And that’s exactly why we send people to places like this.

We can bring something into a setting that the indigenous church cannot provide. Ellie Lundquist is in Brazil teaching others how to lead and become active in deaf ministry. The lack of ministry to the deaf in Brazil is endemic, but Ellie is able to fill a niche to help reach a people group almost totally overlooked until now. Pretty cool.

We have 24 missionary appointees in the pipeline. As we wrestle with who, where and why to send, your prayers for wisdom is greatly valued. We want to be wise stewards of the ministry entrusted to us. More than that, we want to have a God-honoring impact as we continue to multiply transformational churches all around the world.

    Point - September 2018

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