• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

We are global

Traveling around to our various regions, I regularly hear comments like the following: “We need to make sure the home office is aware of this information,” or “who is the person in the home office that I need to talk to about this issue?”  I will inevitably respond by asking: Which home office do you mean?  Now I know what office the person is referring to.  He/she is talking about the US Ministry Support Center, or to put it more simply, the US office.   However, World Team has ‘home offices’ in Australia, Canada and the US.

We are global.

I realize that we could chalk this up to a simple oversight on our part, given that a large portion of our workers come from the United States.  However, the reality is that we are now mobilizing workers from a variety of different locations.  Should other Sending Countries be established, which is a live option in the coming year, the pool from which workers could be mobilized would further increase.

We are global.

Several of our Team Leaders, Field Leaders and Area Staff are non North American.

We are global.

The World Team International board is discussing a proposal to create a global alliance where selected members of each Sending Country would participate together in the oversight of global ministries.  In this scenario, a global alliance would be made up of an equal number of Australian, Canadian and US representatives plus a number of other international representatives.

We are global.

It’s a small change, but it would signal a step forward towards becoming more international, towards becoming WT Global.  Instead of saying ‘home office’ with the understanding that ‘home office’ equals ‘US office’, let’s specify which office we are referring to: the Australian office, the Canadian office or the US office.  Try it out!  Encourage others in this ‘name change.’

We are global.

4 Responses

  1. There is a robust “theology of diversity” that spills onto the pages of the Global Policy Handbook. The main reason I joined World Team was this commitment to interdependence. (RACE alone puts missionary candidates in the crosshairs of grace, showering them with encouragement, wisdom and insights coming from brothers and sisters with their best interests in mind.)

    In my study of globalization, communications and the mission of the church, it has become crystal clear to me: there is a desperate need for “more Body” – “more Team” worldwide.

    For me, a commitment to “being global” isn’t merely about reciprocity and/or group ownership – some sort of school-yard ethic to be sure we include everyone. That’s for “metro-pagans” to sort out. It is properly who we are in Christ and where Christ’s mission finds itself in the world. Technological advances have made it possible to be everywhere almost anywhere; we need this Team infrastructure to meet the opportunities presented by cultural trends with all the right players. This is an exciting time; ripe fruit dangles from the vines and our harvesters can drive combines, literally, if not figuratively.

    In the spirit of the moment, I thought I might express the “why” of my fervent commitment to this “name change” which is I think is so important and especially essential to our core values – what I also believe to be Christ’s “Body values” Scripturally.

    [Of course, I don’t speak for World Team US, nor do I have any real authority or position of stature within World Team. But this means a lot to me – innovative interdependence around fundamental commitments like Gospel, prayer and worship is why I am here – and I’m so glad you decided to write about it and put it, as it were, on the dashboard.]

    Being global” means three basic things to me.

    #1. Love. Because I Truly value my brother and sister, because I love him or her, I want to see him or her glorify the Lord by living to their fullest potential: they are redeemed images of God – bought back creations displaying skills, gifts and abilities uniquely their own, reversing the curse, seeking what was lost. Alive again in Christ, they are getting stronger with each approaching hoofbeat. And with each glorifying act of faith, they are more beautiful, more like our Savior. I find great, deep, eternal fraternity with them; we share the same Spirit. I can’t help it.

    And they aren’t even “what they will be” yet. I need to remember that. Maintaining an eternal perspective of my brother or sister is essential. It is in this respect that love both covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) and sees my brother and/or sister as glorious heirs, sharing the same Brother, the same Parent: “if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

    I remember 1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” If love does anything, it sacrifices. What know what love is because Jesus laid down His life “for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2) – the joy that is the Restored “Collective We”. You, me, us, together.

    Wrangling for position exposes self-glory and me-kingdom building, attempting to “make a name” for ourselves instead of glorifying the name of Christ together. It doesn’t belong to us, but to the kingdoms of this world (Ephesians 2 stuff). It’s Nimrod’s domain: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). That’s not why we are global. That’s why Nike is global. (Alright, that sounds a bit anti-corporate, which it’s not meant to be. You get the idea.)

    #2. Multiple Perspectives. On a person level of interrelationship, this is important. I need you to know me. I need you to see me. I need you to tell me what you see. All of these are important to my sanctification. Because of the noetic effects of sin, because of the sin in my own heart, I need your perspective to refine me, encourage me and disciple me.

    On the level of global relationships, it would seem to me that I would benefit greatly from the perspective of someone from another culture so that my cultural sins, my cultural insensitivities would be kept in check. Furthermore, I can offer perspective where it’s needed by my brother or sister from another culture. Creativity and innovation is greatly enhanced by multiple points of view and a diversity of gifts, surrounding an opportunity with resource.

    It is in this multiperspectival vision that the goal of missions itself is cast: the individual integrity of the nations is maintained in Revelation 21-22. The nations are “healed” by the return of Christ. We don’t transform into nameless, homogenous automatons in glory. Diversity remains in our unity around the throne; and it is glorious. Definitively glorious. We must make it our goal to live out our eternal reality in the present. It is who we are. Displaying the multiple perspectives represented by a diversity of nations and cultures will both worship the Lord and display the glory of heavenly community wherever we go.

    #3. Stewardship of Resources. Much has been given to us globally; much is required. And, of course, much is needed. The sending countries as they currently stand represent, in some way, the present imbalance of resources in the global evangelical church – they are the old guard. (I’m not sure how to make sense of that, yet, or really what it requires of us. But it is true.) “From the West to the rest” has a socio-economic trajectory to it, and Canada, America and Australia alike represent expansions of the Western empire and influence. “Blessed” by the historic control of resources, we provide access to education, finances, technology, etc. it is our responsibility to share, to be a blessing to the nations. Of course, all of this is changing rapidly.

    Theologically, the principle seems simple enough. There is no national/imperial power in Christ’s kingdom; there is no national identity equipped to oversee the New Heavens and the New Earth. The whole earth belongs to our Lord, and we are his “vicegerents” from every tongue, tribe and nation – Christ’s the Creator’s appointed stewards of His Creation.

    Practically, the theological rubber meets the roads leading out of Jerusalem in Acts. When all is already “ours in Christ” as heirs, the reality of the first local church should naturally become our reality globally: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need” (Acts 2:43-45).

    It’s not pie in the sky; it’s possible and it’s real. Notice the direct correlation to this commitment to interdependence and the accomplishment of World Team’s primary goals: multiplication and expansion. “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” We can be global because we Truly have everything in common. I want to “be global” like that.

    • You give some key elements that describe the ‘guts’ of what it means to be global from a Christological, and rightly spiritual sense. Thanks!

      What I highlighted in this post was how easily our good global intentions go awry, and how our very language can betray a non global attitude. All our efforts to become global flow out of the truths of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection to unite us in community to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our journey, though, needs to start somewhere. We need to demonstrate this Christ like love by giving ‘including’ others by the way we talk about ourselves.

      Thanks for adding more depth to what we’re talking about.

  2. This sounds like a sound move!

  3. It may seem like a “little thing” but these ways of communicating are really important in us embracing the global nature of World Team! We ARE global!

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