Loyalty to organizations, including the church, for many, seems to be a thing of the past. Some feel squeezed and stifled by structure and constitution, choosing instead, the path of independence. Looking from the outside in, independence can appear to free one from the responsibility of accountability. Ironically, many independent organizations seem to flourish while organizations connected to a structure sometimes stagnate and/or stumble.
Last week, MJ and I attended two days of missions training called “Segue”. It was hosted by the International Missions department of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, the organization we represent as global workers. It brought together seasoned global workers and those who have been recently approved to go to a specific field. The training provided practical general sessions as well as personal coaching and counselling sessions.
As we drove to our next assignment, MJ and I reflected on the time we had spent at Segue. You know something is right when you leave feeling refreshed, encouraged, supported, cared for and appreciated. For us, being attached to the PAOC brings a sense of credibility. Just yesterday, I stood in a church sharing the story of a Chinese church plant in Zambia. The story includes the partnership of at least five different organizations, all who are in one way or another connected with the organization we represent. It brought credibility to the story and comfort to the congregation who supports us, knowing that their money is accounted for and invested in a safe place.
I am not knocking independence because I have seen the success of many organizations who have ventured out on their own. However, whether one chooses to be attached to the hip of an organization, or one flies with what they feel is the freedom of an eagle, everyone needs accountability and credibility. Lack of both can lead to a dark side of leadership that could otherwise be avoided.
So thanks team members of the International Missions department of the PAOC. Thanks for the great days of training, thanks for your support, encouragement and belief in what we are doing, thanks for giving us the opportunity to be creative and courageous in the midst of structure and systems. Thank you for providing the peace of accountability and credibility. MJ and I are honored to submit to and support your leadership.
Until next Monday…