In Hudson Taylor's Day....
Why is the China Inland Mission/North America's 100th Year Celebration So Significant For Us Today?
Why Suddenly Are Many Reports On the Number of China's Christians So Drastically Subdued?
At the Center
Dividing the Church-- What is TSPM Leadership Up To?
China's Three-Self Church
Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: Christians in China Tell Their Stories
Around the World
Regional Workshops Spark Cooperation!
"I've been overseas with the student mobilization ministry KALEO for the last three summers. This summer I'm staying home to mobilize here...."
"We're seeking to serve through a new missions center--- the Gulf States Center for World Mission."
"The Caleb teams came to our campus this year, and it really changed some lives...."
"Our church is setting aside a 400-square-foot building for a mission resource center...."
"We had a concert of prayer with 200 on our campus...."
"People have really gotten behind the international students outreach this year...."
These are the kinds of comments shared in a series of mission mobilizers' workshops conducted in major U. S. cities during the past three months. Sponsored by the Association of Church Missions Committees, the Association of International Mission Services, and the U. S. Center for World Mission, these weekend workshops have brought excited mission activists together and helped them see what God might do through their combined efforts.
To learn more, Mission Frontiers' Greg Parsons recently interviewed two workshop leaders--- Wesley Tullis, chairman of the Center's Mobilization Division, and Bruce Graham, the Center's Associate Director for Special Projects.
MF: What are some of the valuable developments you've seen at the workshops?
Graham: One of the key things has been the positive dynamic of networking. Individuals and ministries have begun to catch a vision of what they can do together.
Tullis: That's right. Typically, different mobilizers have been introduced to a couple of key regional leaders who could help link up the various efforts into a cohesive unit.
Graham: In most cases this leadership has been given by an ACMC, AIMS, or U.S. Center regional representative--- leaders who are focused on the larger mission renewal movement rather than one specific sphere of ministry.
MF: What has this "networking" looked like in different regions?
Tullis: In Seattle, even people from the same field of ministry--- say, prayer mobilization--- were discovering one another. Maybe one had a focus on the student world and another the church world; with simple steps of collaboration, they could strengthen existing efforts. In Denver, people planning a mission conference in one church made a commitment to run the conference with other churches in order to improve the quality and reduce the cost.
Graham: Also in Denver, there came together a group of churches who saw the need for a "generic" candidate preparation school in which they could all participate.
MF: What were some of the other tangible results of the workshops?
Tullis: One exciting element has been the commitments made by lay mobilizers. Many have stepped forward to give 2-5 hours per week to serve the various ministries in missions mobilization in their area.
Graham: People in every workshop I attended wanted to have a regional newsletter so that they could keep up on what everyone else is doing and planning. Certain individuals came forward and said they were willing to put in the work to start that newsletter or help with an existing newsletter.
Tullis: This kind of newsletter could become a communique between the key structures in mission mobilization, be it Concerts of Prayer, regional mission conferences, short-term ministries, or Perspectives classes. It could keep the overall movement continuously in front of the general public.
MF: What's been the response to the notebook used in the workshop?
Graham: We've been told that it's an invaluable reference manual!
Tullis: And many people have said that the 40-page Mobilizers' Resource Manual in the fifth section of the notebook is worth the price of the entire workshop.
MF: Any other reflections?
Tullis: Those of us planning these workshops feel strongly that we are in a critical time frame in the United States, a time frame that requires desperate prayer and a passionate obedience. It's time to move beyond vision to serious obedience to that vision.
Next workshop in 1988: Philadelphia, August 5-6. (Contact Fran or Sue Patt at 215-971-0255.) Other workshops this year are contemplated, but not yet confirmed, for Detroit, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Jose, and San Diego. For further information, call or write: Mobilization Division, U. S. Center for World Mission, 1605 Elizabeth St., Pasadena, CA 91104, (818) 398-2200.
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