Monday, April 04, 2005

Josiah Venture - summer strategy

I've been checking out Josiah Venture after Marc posted the highlights of an article about organic multiplication. The major highlight from the article for me was the comparison between factory and farm. Some other highlights include:
- As youth pastors commited to the cause of global youth ministry we cannot be satisfied with single versions of effective disciple making movements. (You are commited to global youth ministry, right?) Vital local youth ministries must be reproduced, and spread, effective country-wide movements must jump over national boundaries and be multiplied in other settings. How do we reproduce living things that grow and adapt, rather than just empty copies of methods and programs that worked in another setting?
- A farmer studies a life form carefully to determine the conditions needed for it to flourish and the dangers from which it must be protected. At the same time he recognizes that the growth process itself is largely out of his control.
(Every spring, I start the futile cycle of trying to grow my lawn. I'm sure I'll be thinking about this even more...)
- I am convinced that we must become expert 'fruit inspectors.' The measure of a man through whom a ministry can multiply is not his credientials, education, position, gifting, communication skills or understanding. Choose men who embody what you want to reproduce, and who are regularly bearing healthy fruit. They will impart life.
- Organic reproduction occurs naturally and spontaneously, building momentum and energy as it goes along.

As I poked around further on their site, I noticed a page about summer mission projects that youth ministries can be involved in. These ideas resonated with me as well:
Summer camps are part of a year-long strategy J.V. uses to help youth groups move toward a healthy balance of WINNING (evangelizing), BUILDING (discipling), and EQUIPPING (training) students. Regular training events throughout the year help prepare both youth leaders and their groups to be more effective at making disciples. We spend a good deal of personal time with various leaders and groups, coaching and encouraging them through individualized care.
(from a Summer Strategy page)
- We prefer either a group with a home church connection to a Josiah team member, with previous Josiah involvement, or with Sonlife training (preferably SEMP trained) and a commitment to the Sonlife strategy.
- We prefer "cross-cultural" experience prior to coming to Eastern Europe (i.e., Mexico or some other short-term trip, inner city, Indian reservation, etc.).
- The group leader must be committed to doing appropriate cross-cultural and evangelistic training prior to coming (i.e., Josiah and SEMP materials).
- All team members should understand and be involved in peer-to-peer relationships and evangelism at home.

Notice the:
- desire for a connection to the organization versus a locality that just sounds like fun
- the preference for a team to have some cross cultural experience
- the requirement to do pre-trip training
- the involvement of being on mission at home
On a slightly related note, you all know what a big fan of SEMP I am. Honestly though, I think our DC experiment this summer is going to blow SEMP away. But more on that later.

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