Monday, July 29, 2013

Future Casting from 2013

Ember exists to help prepare for leaders of the future and in order to project into the future, you must see the present clearly. Here are some of the current concepts that we saw this summer that may cast direction and intention for the missionary of the future.

1 - Multi-dimensional Connections
Combine global urban migration, digital natives and the ease of world wide travel and student mission experiences today are full of multi-dimensional connections. Students connect with lots of other people from lots of other places in the world. They continue these connections long after they come home from various medium via technology, such as sharing pictures and videos, texting each other and maybe talking via skype or facetime. One of our team still 'talks' with people from France at least a few times a week. Future student missions experiences should anticipate this and use it as an advantage.

2 - Belonging Before Believing
Both experiences in Aix and Phoenix involved significant contributions from students that didn't necessarily have a Christian world view. Now, of course, there is a sensitive line involving leadership roles and how relevant faith is in those positions. The challenge for the future is to navigate these challenges with a 'belonging before believing' posture.

3 - Creative Access and Creative Revenue
Creative access means various ways to get you to the field of service and creative revenue means generating the revenue to get you there. Our creative inspirations this summer included the Aixtraordinary Journey that ICCP put on and the fabulous community platform that Amadeo Church hosts at their 3rd Place Cup coffeehouse. Student missions in the future continue to inspire us with new and bold initiatives with regard to access, revenue and platforms. Be sure to include the idea of business as mission under this creative heading too.

4 - Sustainable Charity
Both of our hosts were passionately and deeply embedded in their communities. They exist to see these communities changed for the better. Ember uses the concept of a catalyst as our primary paradigm and it continues to help us filter our activities to spur on teams and not do anything that they couldn't do for themselves. As we think about the dynamic of self -> serve -> systems, these two hosts definitely helped us be catalysts and not create unreasonable dependencies.

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