Saturday, April 30, 2005

Missionary Teams

I've added a subscription to my Bloglines feeds that is an RSS feed from the bookmarks people add in delicious under the tag 'missions.' (I have a link to it on the right sidebar.) It's pretty cool to see bookmarks that other people save under that category.

One of the sites recently saved was, "An international forum on mission in postmodernity." I found the intersting article titled Third Dimension Missionary Teams written by Steve Richardson, the CEO of Pionners.

First dimension mission teams
- a group of people who identify with one another on the basis of shared ministry calling and/or geographic and organizational affinity
- the "team" is viewed primarily as a necessary and expedient platform by which each member may accomplish his/her assigned goals within a practical framework
- Strategic cross-polination of ideas, experience, and resources is limited

Second dimension mission teams
- A Second Dimension Team, like the First, shares a common goal and geographic or organizational affinity, but to this combination a third priority is added: commitment to a common ministry strategy
- still largely dependent on outside life-support systems for their member development and nurture needs

Third dimension mission teams
- a deep interactive commitment on the part of the members to one another, to the development and health of each member
- are committed to doing the work in relationship
- are interdependently task and member focused
- takes on characteristics of a living organism. It can develop, over time, its own integrated and holistic life-support system whereby it detects its own needs and sees that they are met, be they spiritual, practical, or strategic

The article then goes on to list some significant action items on the part of mission agencies, in light of trying to build Third Dimension Teams:
1 - teams are best built within the framework of a team-centric organizational culture
2 - begin viewing the team as the primary locus of personnel development, including member care
3 - responsibility and authority must be divested to teams, within the context of an inter-dependent network. Teams must be "liberated" if they are to be truly effective
4 - leadership development, at both the team and regional levels, should be the primary concern of an agency's upper level management

It's a good article which touches on the ideas of building mission teams, growing and erupting leadership out of individuals, and how a community, not just individuals, on mission is required.

A picture of some of our Seniors that will be going on the Black Hole Experience in two weeks.

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