Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thoughts from SIM Global Leaders Gathering

Ryan’s summarized notes, conclusions and reflections from the recent - SIM Global Leaders Gathering

- SIM is struggling to continue to respond to the times. Over the past couple of decades, SIM has changed significantly and is continuing to change. Mergers with numbers of other missions, a major mission wide review and the more recent opening of avenues for missionaries from nontraditional sending locations to join into the work of SIM is continuing to push the mission’s thinking and challenge the existing mission structures. While it is a struggle, it is better than stagnation.

- While changes in recent years have opened more opportunities for those from non-western nations to join SIM, more needs to be done to help bring a true sense of belonging and ownership. Genuine listening and realistic workable solutions need to be sought. The issues are complex and cultural perspectives play a significant part in the working through of these issues.

- Diversity is one of the core values of SIM. This should lead in the direction of continuing to diversify the membership of SIM. A question of how much simultaneous change an organization can cope with needs to be dealt with. While diversity brings a richness of perspective and beauty it can also increase the potential for misunderstanding and conflict. Too much focus on making an overly diverse organization function could distract from the main mission.

- We run the risk of focusing too much on the “go” command of the Great Commission, which can focus on activity; rather than focusing on the “come and follow” command to the disciples, which focuses on our relationship to the Savior. (Rev Zac Niringiye)

- The changing world context requires a new global missiology. The old wine skins will not suite the new wine. New wine skins are required from new wineskin makers. The new wineskin makers need to rely on the skills of the old wineskin makers. (Pastor Oscar Muriu)

- There is a constant struggle to find leaders (the workshop on Leadership: opportunities and approaches to development, r
etention and succession/transition ) looked like it was the most well attended, showing a felt need among the leaders of the mission.

- Many SIM countries are working on reviewing their strategies. Many are working to reach unreached peoples. Leadership needs are many. Asia related work is growing quickly and in new ways (BAM, establishing new fields) Creativity is evident throughout the mission from both the sending and receiving sides.

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