Committed Relationships (WIM Core Values, 1 of 5)

Who we are springs from our core values.

WIM’s core values are the qualities that we as an organization deem most important. They are our highest principles and most deeply held beliefs. Like DNA, they define who we are and who we will become. Our core values are foundational to all that WIM represents. Other organizations may have the same or similar vision, but their core values are almost always different since they reflect the fundamental beliefs of that organization.

The five values that we believe are most important to WIM are Committed Relationships, Indigenous Principles, Discipleship, Kingdom Perspective, and Servant Leadership. These are the values to which we are committed, and our desire is that they will govern our actions and behavior. May God give us the grace to apply them to our lives and ministries.

By Chuck Hall

Two things I heard again and again during our 2013 international conference were “WIM is family,” and, “Good relationships are key to a successful ministry.”  As a core value of World Indigenous Missions, committed relationships is the heart of who we are.  None of our core values is more important than our commitment to one another if we are to live as family and enjoy successful ministries.

There is a lot of truth in the adage, “It’s not what you know but who you know.”  Experience has taught us that throughout the world in every culture, strong relationships open many doors.  They are foundational for successful ministry.  Therefore, we strive to develop and maintain good relationships, not only among fellow workers, but also with donors and supporting churches.

Open and Clear Communication

Mary Ann Bianchi says, “Life is made up of relationships, and relationships are developed and maintained by open and clear communication.”  A lack of communication between you and those with whom you work is an invitation for the accuser of the brethren to bring division by filling your mind with accusations and lies.  My friend Dr. Bill Thomas says, “When we don’t communicate with one another, Satan will fill in the blanks.”  How often have we listened to the accusations of the devil regarding a fellow believer, thinking it was the truth, only to discover later that it was all a lie?

Conflicts

Interpersonal conflicts are a major reason missionaries leave the field.  Abuse of authority, lack of submission, misunderstanding, pride, and a lack of forgiveness are damaging to any relationship.  The cost of maintaining and restoring relationships can be challenging.  It takes time and energy, but is well worth the effort.

Most, if not all, missionaries will experience interpersonal conflicts with their ministry partners.  It does not matter how easy-going you are or how much respect you have for those with whom you work, no one is going to agree on everything all the time.

There is good news and bad news.  The bad news is that there will be disagreements and conflicts.  The good news is that it is not until our relationships are tested that we know our commitment to one another.

Biblical Example

Even among pillars of the church like the apostles Paul and Barnabas there were disagreements.  In their case, the conflict was so contentious that they parted ways.

On Paul’s first missionary journey, he, Barnabas, and young John Mark were sent out by the church in Antioch to plant other churches.  John Mark, author of the third gospel, was a close relative of Barnabas, possibly his nephew or cousin.  The plan was for Mark to receive further training from Barnabas and Paul as he accompanied them on their journey.

One of their first stops was Pamphylia. It is not clear what happened there, but Mark refused to continue with Paul and Barnabas and turned to go back home.  When Paul was preparing to leave on his second missionary journey, Barnabas insisted on taking Mark with them.  Because Mark had left them in Pamphylia, Paul refused to let him come.  Luke records that the “contention became so sharp that they parted from one another.  As a result, Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God” (Acts 15:38-41).

At first glance, it seems that this was the end of Paul and Mark’s working together.  However, Paul indicates in his epistles that they worked out their differences.  He later refers to Mark as his “fellow worker” who was a “comfort” to him (Col. 4:10-11) and includes him in a list of “fellow laborers” (Philemon 1:24).  In his last epistle while in prison, Paul asked that Mark be brought to him “for he is useful to me for ministry” (II Tim. 4:10-11).

Life consists of relationships

There will be disagreements and conflicts with fellow workers.  However, it is not until our relationships are tested that we know the extent of our commitment to one another.  If relationships are damaged or broken, it is important that we work at reconciliation and restoration.

A rich and productive life consists of quality relationships.  If your relationships are good, you as a person are likely to be happy and fulfilled.  If you are not rightly related to others, chances are you are unhappy and lack satisfaction.

Love

This important core value called Committed Relationships is developed and maintained by love.  Committed relationships flow out of God’s love for us and our love for Him.  It is this love that forever binds us to God and to one another.

 

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