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YOU MUST GO

The mission trip is certainly not a new concept in the church today. However, I feel like it has, in large part, lost its luster so to speak. We talk about it occasionally; we hear from others that have gone talk about their experiences for a few minutes from time to time; our pastor may mention it here and there but it seems that very few churches place any sort of emphasis or need for people to go on mission trips. We like to think of a myriad of excuses for why we can’t go. The biggest one I hear is that it costs too much money. Of all the other excuses this is the one that bothers me the most. We talk about it as if it’s up to us to make it happen. But where’s the faith? If you think god wants you to go on a trip do you think he won’t also provide the way to get there? If we really believe that everything in the world is already his then certainly he can provide the amount necessary to “go to all nations”?

As Christians, we need to be seeking God and looking for where He wants us to serve. We should also be looking for opportunities to serve over seas. David Platt, in his book Radical, challenges his readers to spend a couple of weeks outside of America. His reasoning is for the perspective that being in another culture can provide. I wholeheartedly agree with this. Not only for the culture but also because I believe that we are much more likely to experience God’s presence on a mission trip. In my experience, I don’t need God very much here in the USA. Let’s face it, even amongst the poorest of us, our needs are met. But, when you step off that plane and enter another country, another culture, another world nothing feels normal. It is in that instance that you are vulnerable and that is precisely when we give God the most availability into our lives. I think about Peter stepping out of the boat; Joshua marching around Jericho; David facing Goliath with a sling; or Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego and the furnace. They all did something that seems patently ridiculous all because they believed in the power of God. Did they know how it was going to end? No, but they knew choosing God was better than choosing their fears.

In my first mission trip my wife and I went with a small group of people to Myanmar to train pastors and church leaders. We were going to be there for two weeks and I wasn’t all that comfortable speaking in front of groups really to begin with but felt like God wanted me to go. A few days into the trip, on Thursday, the leader said he needed someone to speak at a church on Sunday and he looked straight at me and asked if I would do it. I must have looked like a deer in headlights for a moment trying to figure out what was going on. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking but I said yes, looking back it may have been the Holy Spirit talking instead of me. So, here I am giving me first sermon ever, in a different country through a translator, and I was scared out of my mind. And that’s the point, when you get out of your comfort zone, you will have no other option than to choose God. And he will not disappoint you.

Short Term Journeys are a great way to get people excited about missions, the church, and God. When you go you will get connected with people on a whole new level. You will get new friends and family that live all over the world. Suddenly, missions won’t feel like a distant thing others do. When you hear about what is happening in the places you’ve been you’ll actually feel what they’re experiencing because you have first hand knowledge of the people and the place. It’s great for the church because you’ll come back different and excited about what God is doing. The experiences that you learn as you go will change the way you see the world and can impact how you serve here at home.

So, now what? Go see where your church is serving and find out if/how you can get involved. Pray that God will show you where he wants you to go. Think about different countries or people groups that you might feel a certain affection for. If that’s the case, find out if there are any groups that you could get together with already in those areas. Remember, the harvest is great but the laborers are few. If you ask God to send you, you can be sure he won’t say no.

Bryan Nicholson

Media and Marketing Lead

 

What Could be?

 

 

What Could Be?
Becoming Missionaries your churches want to partner with
Objective: Partnership Missionary support
“Nehemiah 2:17 – Let us build together…”

Think back to the moment you knew God was asking you to be a full-time missionary. The excitement and the thrill of this new adventure captivated every thought and breath you had. You were focused and driven to do whatever it took to “get there” and start serving. Depending on the route you took you had hoops to jump through, not to mention the financial support you got to raise. In your eagerness to begin this new journey you possibly overlooked the what could be.
The what could be is the massive window of opportunity you are creating when you begin something new. You are the new front runner for this country, these people, this epidemic…because you are willing to focus all of your efforts to reaching these people. The what could be is the endless dreams that are created because you stepped out and obeyed God’s leading. For missionaries, your what could be is greatly increased by your partnership with your supporting churches.
So, let’s back up – to the ASK. In our eagerness to get to the field and get the job done we typically only ask for money (and prayer support) so we can quickly get to the field and go do. We didn’t know we could ask for more – we didn’t know we should ask for more. We pass up the what could be with our churches by not asking them for more.
When we ask for more than just money we are blowing the doors wide open to what could be.
Because you are answering the call and inviting these churches (with pews filled with resources and skills) to join you, your vision just quadrupled and you just gave an open invitation of possibilities (what could be) to the church. You now have others joining you as you move closer to reaching this major vision, you now have help to define this vision, you have people who will help you carry out this vision and the possibility of what could be just became endless.
The initial vision God gave you may very well be the starting point, and you are simply the catalyst to mobilize your church. Allowing the church to partner with you along this journey brings other vision casting people to the table – expanding your vision, and not limiting it to what only you are capable of.
Churches, if you are reading this, you need to look at your missionaries and ministry partners with a ‘what could be´ filter. What could we, as a church, do now that we have a missionary in Venezuela? What could we do now that we have a teacher serving in Eastern Asia? What could we, as a church, do now that we have an engineer in Iran?
Part of the what could be mindset it taking ownership of these opportunities. It is no longer US (the church) and THEM (the missionary), but it is a WE. What are WE going to do TOGETHER?

Missionaries, if you want to know how to ask your churches for more, please allow H2T to walk you through the process. Churches, if you would like to start looking at what could be with your existing missionaries, we would like to help you today. Contact us today to see what could be.

Stefanie Nicholson

Founder and Director of Here2There Ministries

Response to Recovery


While my major work is in the field of Missions with Here2There, I also teach and train others in the area of CPR. Part of the training highlights the importance of a rapid response to an emergency situation and the impact that has on a person’s recovery. Statistics show that for every minute a victim goes before care is given their chances of full recovery decrease by 10%. The emphasis is on the critical work of the first responder which can be the difference between life and death.

There is much the same impact in the life of a Missionary who often finds his or her status on “life support”. Feeling like they are all alone in a foreign culture, with no one to assist them in their work or even care they are there. Missionaries are experiencing great difficulty carrying on the work to which they have been called. Just like the victim of an emergency situation, They Need Help!

The New Testament clearly identifies the “first responders” as “The Church”. All the resources needed by a Missionary are found in the church, whether it be financial, physical, emotional, or spiritual in nature. Those sitting in the pews should see themselves as the vital resource pool the missionary so desperately needs. If activated and mobilized, they can provide the support needed by a missionary family.

YOU are “The Church” so take some time this week to think about what YOU can do. You are probably thinking to yourself right now, I can’t do anything, but don’t let that stop you. If you know a missionary reach out to them and see how you can help. If nothing else, we ask that you please remember to pray for Here2There Ministries and especially the missionaries that they are equipping each month.

Here2There specializes in training and equipping both Missionaries and Churches in forming vital “Partnerships” which are valuable and beneficial to all. For more information on Church Partnerships and other vital Mission topics, visit our website www.here2there.org for other great resources.

 

Rules of Partnership – Part 3 of 3

 

Our third rule in partnerships is Big Victories – for both the church and missionaries. Often times when we consider victories in missions we think the missionaries is the only winner. Well, in partnerships both the church and the missionaries will see great results and great benefits as they work together in their strategic partnership.

H2T uses the term Strategic Partnership because through strategic partnerships missions is no longer a one-way street where the missionary is always on the receiving side. In a strategic partnership both the church and the missionary are contributing to an overall vision and both are seeing positive results. They both see positive results because the missionary is also contributing to the vision of the church in the process.

When churches and missionaries work hand in hand toward a common goal both sides will see benefits along the way.

  • Church – your people are gaining exposure as they serve in a new culture or context. They will be challenged to share the gospel in a new way, using their gifts, given a new perspective and opening themselves up to what God is doing world-wide. THEN, they return that energy and exposure and excitement back to their church body.
  • Missionary – specifically matched needs with resources of the church body, long-term partnership to develop and grow the ministry as well as a chance to share your cross-cultural training with others.

 

“As a partner it is your duty to make sure the people you are partnering with are successful”

 

Churches, there is a great benefit from strategically partnering with your missionaries. As you give of your time and most importantly of your people, God will begin to expose your church to greater vision of what he is doing around the world. This exposure to the moving of the Holy Spirit in a new light will create a fire among your church bringing revival in ways you couldn’t have planned or asked for. Individuals in your church will now be able to take ownership for these missionaries they’ve worked side by side with, they will take initiate to be their ambassadors and work with them along the way. This gives the church more individual leadership and allows the missionary to get beyond the leadership surface into the body of the church where the majority of resources lie.

Missionaries, as you join in strategic partnerships you will be accomplishing your vision as well as help meet the vision and strategy of your partnership churches. You become a conduit for the churches, giving opportunity and exposure to their people as they come and serve with you, or help you from home. You, along with the churches, must think about each other in a new light and mindset as team members that need each other to make it all happen.


 

Missed Part 1 or 2 of our series on The Rules of Partnership? You can find them HERE

If you need help creating your strategic partnership to get big victories, please contact H2T today for your free DNA evaluation.

Rules of Partnership – Part 2 of 3

 

“”Great leaders must have two things: a vision of the world that does                                             not yet exist and the ability to communicate that vision clearly””

– Simon Sinek

The second rule in our three-part series is CLEAR VISION. In order for the church and the missionary to be working together on a specified project or need there has to be a clear vision defined, and a clear strategy created. This vision must be seeable and easily sharable from both sides of the partnership. Often times missionaries share they have so many needs, but when we need to give a list it is too hard for us to articulate the details.

Yes, this shared vision is not the norm for churches and missionaries. Typically the missionaries are out doing the work in their areas and simply sharing the results with the churches.  But, in strategic partnerships both the churches and the missionaries are working together using resources from both sides to get the job done. When there is more than one person working on a job there has to be a clear vision and strategy in place to work from.

This seems to fall into the more “business” side of ministry, but it is a valuable area most ministries miss in their planning. From the vision a team can establish a strategy, set goals, create a working plan and set markers along the way to know when they’ve reached their goal.

Having a clear vision allows both the missionary and the church to divide and conquer – each taking a piece of the vision as their own

Vision does not mean you have to have all the answers. Vision means you know where God is leading you. Through your partnerships, and regular communication, you can decide how you are going to reach the vision and who you are going to need to get you there. This is a great opportunity for churches and missionaries to work together. Neither one of them is bringing “their side” to the table, but they are discovering it together as God reveals the details of the vision to them collectively.

Vision changes. As you get closer to accomplishing your vision you will need to set a new vision. So, vision is something that is measurable and tangible.

  1. Clear and concise – so others can remember
  2. Compelling and captivating – so people will join you and support you along the way
  3. Challenging – providing a solution to a need

 

Churches – do you have a vision for missions at your church? Have you identified the best way your church is going to reach the world? Have you targeted your geographic locations or people groups you are set out to reach? Having a vision allows you to set goals, identify the right people (inside and outside your church) to help you reach that vision and create the best strategy to accomplish that vision and reach your goals. We already know we are to make disciples of all nations, but how are you doing that and where are you starting are some great tangibles to identify to give your church what they need to know in how they can join you.

Missionaries -when you have a good, clear, seeable vision it makes it easier to share your needs, and invite others to join you. When our vision isn’t clear (to others) it brings about great frustration…we don’t understand why people don’t want to join us, or why they are having trouble understanding what we are doing. You should run your vision by several honest friends and church leaders, and ask them if they know what you are doing and what you want others to do with you. This is hard work, but it is important. Having a clear vision also gives you the perfect opportunity to match your vision with the vision of potential church partners – giving you a common thread to make a partnership connection.

 


 

Missed Part 1 on Communication? You can find it here

It doesn’t matter if you are a church or a missionary, either way you need clear vision and you need to be able to share that vision with others, clearly, so they will join you. If you don’t have a clear vision, or are having trouble communicating that vision with your church body or with your partnership churches, please call H2T to help you clarify and communicate your vision.

Rules of Partnership – Part 1 of 3

 

Did you know there are rules for the way churches and missionaries should work together? In this three-part series on the Rules of Partnership, we will explore what it takes to establish and maintain a thriving, strategic partnership between churches and missionaries. Our rules will help us take our partnership and relationship to the next level. These partnerships go beyond the financial support and put churches and missionaries working hand in hand together on reaching all nations.

The first in our three-part series is communication. No relationship can thrive without regular, good, intentional communication. Partnerships must stay up to date, keep team members informed about progress, encouraging the team as they work to keep good momentum on the vision and goals of the partnership.

Missionaries and churches have equal responsibility to maintain the communication, both sides offering both consistency and encouragement to the progress and development. Our avenues of technology have advanced the “how” of communication, leaving very little excuses.

Communication must be:

  • Regular

         – Schedule weekly check-ins

         – Include both sides in team meetings or staff meetings

        – Evaluate vision, progress and goals

 

  • Personal

Try talking about life outside of ministry. Building the personal side of your partnership and your relationship will strengthen what you do have and ensure the life of the partnership and relationship even beyond ministry.

 

  • Honest

Sharing beyond the physical needs for ministry is vital. Allowing each side to know how you feel, your struggles, difficulties and true thoughts gets down to the real nitty-gritty of partnerships. Emotional health is a large factor for missionary attrition, and the faster churches can recognize the best way they can help, will ensure longer relationships with greater impacts.

 

Churches, as you increase the communication and honesty with your missionary partners it is imperative for you to understand their sharing with you is in confidence and if they share they had a bad day that doesn’t mean they have a moral sin in their life. THEY ARE HUMAN JUST LIKE PASTORS… they need to vent, cry and fuss just like the rest of us. Maybe your church needs to add missionary care to the ways you support your missionaries. Giving missionaries additional support through counselors, retreats, coaching, returning missionary support and much more.

 

Recently at one of our Partnership Development Trainings for missionaries we heard a very real statement from one of our missionaries.

“They (church) don’t understand us and we will be judged if we say that!” 

This is a harsh reality, where missionaries have to guard their words and feelings because they are afraid they will be judged, and ultimately loose funding from their supporting churches and individual supporters. Missionaries, like pastors and other leaders, live under a microscope with little to no outlet to find truth and encouragement. 

Missionaries, as you increase your communication with your churches, think beyond the newsletter and prayer needs. Get personal. Share what’s going on with your family and community. Share the hard stuff you don’t think anyone wants to hear, or people will judge you about, and then share your fear of sharing. Don’t forget to ask your churches about them too – they have things that they want and need to share that is hard for them too.

Take time right now to evaluate and consider the ways you communicate with your churches and missionaries. Our communication could drastically change the relationship you have, allowing you to go deeper in understanding each other and also the way you can work hand in hand together accomplishing our global command to make disciples of all nations.

 


 

If you would like help with your strategic partnerships and your communication, please contact H2T to set up your free DNA consultation today.

THE PROXIMITY MODEL

 

Recently I heard the word “proximity” and it has stuck in my head. The word surfaces and unusual times and places. I can’t seem to shake it… so I embraced it! I began doing a bit of digging and really just began asking God why this word was always before me. So, at one of those unusual time, 3:00 am  God woke me up, with the word “proximity” and “Ephesians 2” on my mind.

Ephesians 2 is a great before and after picture of salvation. This chapter shows who we were before Christ…filthy, dead sinners who had no place for Christ. Then we jump forward to the after part…peace because of His presence, a new image in Him, ready to walk out this relationship. This change doesn’t just happen because we want it to happen. This change comes about because of Christ’s gift of salvation towards us. Christ’s proximity towards us changed. He moved closer to us, He gave to us and he offered a solution to our need. We were distant, verse 12 calls us aliens and strangers without hope. But, through the presence and moving of the Holy Spirit we are now in a great standing relationship with Him that has changed our whole outcome.

Christ, through his death on the cross gave us the presence and power of the Holy Spirit which gave us access to the perfect relationship with God. Here are a few things this chapter tells us we received:

–          Gives us life and a new image

–          Give us opportunity to sit with God in His glory

–          Gives us gifts and talents

–          Brought us near to God

–          Removed the “rules” of the Law and imparted grace

–          Gives us a firm foundation to stand on.

 

I love the power of proximity shown here in this chapter and the simple idea of moving closer to someone can change them. When the Holy Spirit comes in to our lives he completely changes the entire situation. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us we no longer focus on us, but we allow our focus and our foundation to be in and on Christ and walking out the good works He prepared for us. He didn’t just let it stop with allowing us to “be” with Him. But because we are with him we have a purpose to live out.

What would happen if we constantly moved closer to people and their needs?

Because Jesus moved closer to us in our time of need we were forever changed. The same is true when we move closer to those in need (whether they know they are in need or not). We have the ability to impact and change someone, for the good, by being there with them and for them.

We must recognize that Satan does a great job of keeping believers divided. The ways he does this are endless, and always changing. One of the ways is to keep a distance between churches and their missionaries. This is not just physical distance between them, but the emotion, and spiritual connections we need in community and relationships.

Let’s take a look back at the benefits we saw of Christ’s proximity and the parallel idea between churches and missionaries.

–          Proximity gives new meaning to life, removes loneliness and adds encouragement

–          Proximity gives spiritual, emotional and physical strength and encouragement

–          Proximity brings added resources to the ministry

–          Proximity breaks the traditional roles of church and missionary and adds genuine relationships without fear

–          Proximity changes the relationship from just a financial commitment to a strengthened partnership

Distance does not determine our proximity. When churches and missionaries are working in proximity with each other imagine the power and impact the two can have.

Our proximity has power. Our proximity has the ability to drastically change the outcome of a situation. Our proximity has the ability to change us.

How will you implement the Proximity Model in your daily life or in your church’s relationship with your missionaries? 

10 Advantages of Church Partnerships

 

The founders of H2T worked in South Africa for the last quarter of 2016 while Missionaries Bob and Joanna Graham were back in the states. They experienced first hand the pressures and burdens of doing Missions on foreign soil with less than desired and needed help from anyone back home. This opportunity was a great reminder for the ministry and brought greater focus to our CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS.

Church Partnerships is a new way of “Doing Missions” that connects the Missionary more closely to the resources (people) in the supporting churches. It changes the “Sending” dynamic to more of a “Partnership” role. The results greatly benefit both the work of the Missionary in the field as well as the church back home.

Here are our top 10 reasons why you should be in partnerships with your churches and with your missionaries


10. Establishes better Long Term Relationships between Missionaries and Churches

 9. Builds Teamwork in churches who become personally engaged in life of Missionary

 8. Promotes sharing of life events of the Church and Mission family via social media

 7. Provides for continual evaluation of Missionaries needs Emotionally, Physically,     

     Psychologically, and Spiritually

 6. Offers constant interaction between Church Members and Missionary

 5. Enables Church to better meet Needs of their Missionaries

 4. Promotes a continuous excitement in life of church as Missions happens

 3. Provides ministry example and service opportunity via work with Missionaries

 2. Encourages a healthy Prayer Ministry in the church for the Missionary Families

 1. It shows the Love of God and fulfills the Great Commision

Funding of Mission work is certainly a must, but there is so much more that needs to happen and can happen through Church Partnership development.

 

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead


If you are intersted in learning more about being in partnership with your missionaries, or with your supporting churches, please contact H2T today for more information. 

THINK ABOUT IT

By the time you read this blog, I’m literally going to ask you that question again…THINK ABOUT IT.

 

As an organization, Here2There supports churches and missionaries to increase the amount of participation given (for churches) and the amount of personal support utilized in the field (missionaries). As we continue to develop ways we can increase and improve these methods, I find myself reading some interesting – some not so interesting – books on strategy and executing strategy. My current read, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” has introduced me to the world of Lead and Lag measures. In short:

–          Lead Measure: What you do to reach your goal

–          Lag Measure: what you use to see you’ve reached your goal

 

As I began to dig more into these details, I began to see this as a valuable concept we as individuals need to apply to our lives when we think about impacting the Kingdom of God. Typically, when we set goals we set vague goals with no real plan in place to reach the goal.

  • I want to share Christ with more people

This is a great, and needed goal, but it is lacking some details that will help us put it into motion.

  • How many people is more?
  • When is your targeted goal?
  • Where am I going to meet these people?

I want to share Christ with 5 people by December 31st.

As churches, we often say we are “missions- minded” or “missions-oriented” but what does that truly mean? Are we constantly thinking of ways that we can better support, partner and encourage our missionaries and ministry partners? Have we created a way for more of our church to be personally involved and connected with our missionaries? Have we found specific needs of our missionaries and connected them with the people in the church who can address that?

We, myself included, get caught up in the goal (lag measure) and often let the “how” slip me by. We forget to see the daily, weekly, monthly changes we need to make that will ensure that we reach our goals. (lead measure)

  • Daily – memorize more scripture, and pray by name for people who need Christ
  • Weekly – spend two hours at my local coffee shop to meet new people and talk to five people about their relationship with Christ.
  • Monthly – Invite 2 new people to join me at the coffee shop to help engage in conversation with others.

We cannot stand there idolizing the goal, we must think about it, on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and ask, “what do I need to do or change to reach my goal?”.

Church, don’t let your goal of partnership, or increased support stop there. THINK ABOUT IT…what do you need to do daily, weekly, monthly to reach the goal or partnership. How can you utilize your weekly gatherings to challenge your people to get involved and make SPECIFIC, TARGETED, INTENTIAL steps towards the big goal?

We’re all familiar with the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” To tackle our big goals we’ve got to actually decide what bite and when am I going to take it. Being intentional and specific will help us reach the goals we’ve set out to accomplish.

 

SO, THINK ABOUT IT… what do you need to do TODAY, THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH to engage your entire church in supporting (with themselves – not just money) the missionaries and ministries we partner with?

 


 

Do you need help with clarifying your goals and vision for your missions focus? Allow H2T to join you in creating a strategic plan for total involvement of your church for missions. CONTACT US NOW

Save Money by Sending

It is very obvious the flow of the church has changed. At one point the idea ‘if we build it they will come’ was very effective. People came because of conviction or culture or tradition and were simply just coming to the church on their own. But that system – and those reasons- is no longer effective. People are no longer coming to church just because.

Because of that change, churches have worked to make their services and ministries attractive and seeker-sensitive and by all means do whatever it takes to get people to church. But, what if we flipped the switch and started sending out people more than we tried to attract people. What if we begin to equip individuals in our churches, who are already there, and want to be there, to effectively go into their regular daily places and be just as impactful as the large programs or attractive ideas that we create would hope to accomplish.

Let’s cut out a step – and cut our budgets- in the process that we are trying to create. Instead of attracting them (spending money), trying to connect with them on our turf and then hoping they come back for more. Why don’t we just reach out and build relationships directly, that are more genuine and intentional and build from there.

Relational lines are the best way to connect, share and hopefully bring someone to Christ. Being intentional in our personal relationships, is far greater than trying to create an environment where relationships can possibly be created. We already have relationships with our neighbors, with our coworkers, with our children’s T-ball coaches and families. Let’s capitalize on the relationships we already have, be intentional about those, and pour out our resources into those areas where we already spend our time.

So, let’s take the time, effort and resources we have been putting into our programs and attractive pieces and begin equipping and training our church members how to talk about Christ in the workplace. How to share the gospel through their personal stories, how to include people in there serving opportunities.

Discipleship starts when we begin to turn heads towards Christ, not just when one has a full conversion experience.

Having an equipping and training model in your church is key for sending out- not only professional missionaries that can work full-time but also individual day to day people who live a missional lifestyle. We are all called to go, we are all required to make disciples, we are all on the same expectations of sharing Christ.

So, how are you equipping your church to go into their workplace? How are you equipping your church to go into their neighborhood? How are you equipping in your church to make connections in their already existing relationships?


 

Here2There would love to help you be intentional and create an equipping and multiplying environment. CONTACT US NOW to evaluate your current equipping model, and establish a sending model with those who already GO out daily.