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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 Andrew Conrad
I was in Belize City on a short-term trip in 2008 when I had an interesting experience. I was enjoying some time downtown close to the ocean when a bus pulled into a public square and a Christian band set up to play some music. A small group of approximately 30 people was assembled. I found James, the leader of the group, and asked him what they were there to do. He said his group consisted of four churches that had travelled an hour or so from a neighboring town to pray for Belize City.
James continued sharing that they had been coming once a week for a month to pray for Belize City, but no other churches from the area were participating with them. He said he had sent an e-mail to the pastoral alliance in Belize City telling them what he believed God was leading him to do and inviting them to participate with him. However, no church had even expressed an interest in his project.
This caused me to reflect on an experience in my own ministry in Mexico. In 2002, I believed the Lord was leading me to teach and train the local churches in evangelism. The first step I took was to speak to the board of directors of the pastors’ alliance of Cuernavaca. I asked them if they believed their churches needed training in evangelism, what kind of training they needed, and if there was some way I could partner with them to help fulfill their training needs and goals. The pastors shared with me their visions for church growth both individually as pastors and as a city. During this initial interview, I shared with them some of the training I was able to provide, some of the materials I was able to access for them, and some of the training other groups were able to facilitate. At the end of our session together, they asked me to speak to the entire alliance of pastors, close to 100 pastors, to recruit a team that would establish a clear vision and mission for training, and if necessary, plan a training event.
The alliance of pastors asked me to lead a working committee and to keep the board of directors informed of our progress. There were seven pastors on the committee with me. One of the pastors on the committee was very hostile to the concept of training. However, by investing time in building a relationship with him and having a very clear vision, I was able to present to him many reasons this type of training was beneficial for the greater good of the kingdom. I also allowed him to address some of the issues that had fueled his negative opinion of evangelism training and listened to his concerns. Eventually, he became an ardent supporter.
Our evangelism training event had 700 people in attendance from over 100 churches. There were 100 local church leaders who participated in song, drama, testimony, workshops, and other activities! This one event helped to spawn not only a local evangelism movement in the city but also an international mission movement.
The following were some of the Kingdom Perspective principles we exercised:
When God calls us to fulfill a task in His Kingdom, He also calls others to be part of that same mission. Finding who those people are and partnering with them to fulfill God’s agenda recognizes that the vision’s author is God himself. The end result is a partnership with God and His fellow laborers. Partnering with others allows them ownership of the same vision so that God’s task can be completed. (“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV)
2. Mutual Respect
God gives different gifts to different people to fulfill His goals on the earth. Mutual respect mandates that I recognize God’s gifting in others. I expect others to be used by God in the gifts and abilities He has given them. Mutual respect allows me to come alongside others to encourage and help them and allows me to receive the help others offer as they come beside me as we pursue God’s vision (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).
When working with many different people who have many different gifts, communication becomes paramount. It is critical to seek to communicate continually with those with whom we are working. We need to use as many different channels and forms of communication as necessary to guarantee the success of imparting a clear vision and mission. James 1:19 suggests, “. . . let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (ESV). And Paul advised in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (ESV).
In writing to the Corinthian church, Paul says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NIV). Another way of saying that is, “He who plants is nothing, and he who waters is nothing, but God is everything.” There is no better definition of humility.
There is no doubt that God had called James to pray for Belize City. I wonder what might have happened if James had partnered with the churches in the city, actively sought the many gifts in Christ’s body to be part of what God desired, and allowed the pastors of the city to plan the major thrust of the project. That could have resulted in an extraordinary experience of God’s blessing in Belize City!