Holiday hustling and bustling may be in full swing, but now is an ideal time to combat busyness long enough to reflect on the past year. What happened in 2013? Where did you go? How have you changed? You’re here on this earth for a reason. Do you know what it is? We may not know what 2014 holds, but we can trust that God’s goodness will be evident.
We did some reflecting regarding WIM as an organization. We calculated that since WIM’s founding in the early eighties, 782 years of missionary service have been invested in the Kingdom of God. We discovered also that the average length of service per WIM missionary is 12.8 years. Considering that most people only stay at the same job for less than five years, we believe this reveals the incredible endurance of our missionaries.
At this year’s WIM International Conference, president Chuck Hall shared three things he wanted to see for the future of WIM missionaries.
- Go to the dangerous places
This goal is not for the sake of adding an element of suspense to WIM’s ethos. On the contrary, the last thing we want to do is put lives in danger. Chuck himself admitted that in the past he has hesitated sending people to difficult areas. However, the reality is that the light of the Gospel shines brightest in utter darkness. Therefore, we should go to all corners of the globe according to our callings with full confidence in Jesus, our Good Shepherd.
- Learn storying
Everyone loves a good story. Storytelling has been central to oral cultures throughout history, but in many ways the art has been lost in the Western, literate world. Because of this, many missionaries don’t realize the significance of telling Bible stories, let alone the effectiveness. Many churches have been planted through the simple, contagious truth found in Bible stories. (Recommended book: Telling God’s Stories with Power by Paul F. Koehler)
- Join the disciple-making movement
There is a growing revival of people returning to the focus of Jesus ministry: making disciples. This is critical especially for WIM missionaries. Making disciples who make disciples is the only way to sustain an indigenous ministry. For ideas on how to start your own discipleship group, check out this blog post from MissionalChallenge.com.
These are some of the keys we believe hold much fruit for the Gospel in 2014. It’s going to be a great year!