Paraclete Mission Group: Fostering Cooperation Among Agencies at USCWM
Greg Livingstone, president of Frontiers Mission, once said of another mission agency based at the U.S. Center for World Mission, If anything happened to that agency, we would have to restructure our own organization.
Both missions work with Muslims and other restricted areas of the world. The agency of which he spoke was facing major pressures because they had been so busy about their ministry, they had somehow neglected to develop an adequate, continuing support base. Frontiers had relied on them for training new workers, but now they were in serious danger of having to curtail their training program.
Livingstone was speaking to the organizers of a new, unique mission program called Paraclete Mission Group. He was welcoming the Paraclete associates and expressing hope that they could fulfill their objectives of providing encouragement and help to the 50 agencies based on the USCWM campus.
Paraclete Mission Group is Born
They could sense the potential it held for His total work in the world, and their hearts were gripped by the objectives and vision of the USCWM for reaching the remaining 16,000 unreached tribes, tongues and peoples of our world with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
These men sensed that just as they had stood alongside the Center in its "Last $1000 Campaign, so God wanted them in a more formal and continuing way to fulfill a similar function among the strategic mission enitities He had brought together at the Center. Thus, the Paraclete (Greek for "one who stands alongside") Mission Group was born.
With the purpose of helping to plant the Church among all peoples of the world, the goal of Paraclete Mission Group is to come alongside the ministries based at the USCWM to help assure that they can most effectively fulfill their individual and collective mandates.
Specifically, Paraclete Mission Group is providing to the agencies on campus resource people, Associates, who are willing and able to invest in the agenciess human capital. The Associates have been chosen based on their ability to mentor others in the areas of communication, organizational and fund development, and strategic planning. As agencies abilities in these areas increase, Paraclete believes the value of their other resources will increase proportionately.
Paraclete Associates include Allen Finley, for 27 years the international president of Partners International (formerly Christian Nationals/CNEC); Dallas Kinney, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who, with his wife, Martha, has produced films and books for many ministries; Robin Wainwright, the executive director of Jubilee Foundation, a key facilitator in the Last $1000 Campaign; Max Dunn, strategic planner for international management and former general manager of Bullocks department store; and Thomas Graham, retired dean of continuing education at California State University at Los Angeles, and consultant on personnel management for a number of Christian ministries.
And It Is Working
During the month of August, the financial situation seemed humanly impossible, yet, God brought a significant response, and, though it is not yet enough to meet all the agencys pressing commitments, the situation is greatly improved.
One couple who heard about the agencys predicament sent a check for $5000. A large supporting church doubled its quarterly giving and sent two generous checks instead of one. So, with the most financially sound August the agency has had in over three years, the agency's leaders are encouraged, their ability to cooperate over the long haul with other groups working in Muslim and restricted countries looks more hopeful, and Greg Livingstone is relieved and greatly encouraged!
Paraclete staff have a number of other longer-range projects underway as well.
One of their primary goals is to promote cooperation among the agencies at the Center, and thus to contribute to the learning process that can go on within and between diverse organizations when they work together. One gets a feel for the range of ministries on campus simply by reading their names (see next column).
How does Paraclete intend to foster cooperation among this diverse body? One way is through a series of Inter-Agency Workshops, already started, that help agencies better understand their peculiar leadership roles and to plan for future ministry development. These workshops have also proven helpful in improving inter-agency collaboration and reducing duplications of effort.
To improve Paracletes ability to minister to the agencies in the future, two Associates are making a complete status survey of all the organizations on campus in order to acquire a better understanding of each ministry. This survey will also be used to help plan future workshops.
In order to help the agencies better communicate the scope of their ministries, Paraclete is seeking to develop a new publication that will report on the exciting developments that occur almost daily here at the Center.
For more information, contact:
Paraclete Mission Group 1539 E. Howard Street Pasadena, CA 91104 (818) 398-2253
or use the order form inside the back cover of this issue of Mission Frontiers.
Agencies on Campus at the USCWM