Longevity in Missions is directly related to your success at building a team.
I have been in missions now for 25+ years and looking back I would not trade my life with anyone I know. We have been "led" to many places, pioneered several ministries, moved more times than I can remember, and raised 4 children along the way. The years have been filled with adventure and challenge. From day one my goal (and necessity) was to bring as many people along with me as I could. Family, friends and people I have met along the way have been key to all that has been accomplished. I am blessed with having been involved with thousands of people and I have found that all success has been related to a team effort. One of my favorite proverbs has become...
"If you want to go fast go alone ... if you want to go far go together".
I often find myself talking with people that are missionary hopefuls. Consistently one of the major concerns of these potential missionaries is support raising. Like many mission organizations Alternative Missions does not pay our staff salaries. We are all required to raise support and so we rely on the contributions of those who believe in what we do and join us in our mission efforts through prayer, going, and giving to accomplish the tasks we are involved in. So; mission team building is critical. It has been my experience that those missionaries who do a good job of building a team last the longest in missions and seem to accomplish the most.
Keys to building a solid missionary team:
- Make team building a priority. Pray for a team. Ask God for people to join you. I have met people in places and ways that are quite unusual.
- Keep your team informed. Personal Visits / Phone / Email / Social Networks / Website - there is no excuse today for not keeping in touch with folks.
- Share opportunities for people to be involved. Ask for specific things and give clear steps of action.
- Tell people the truth. Good & Bad / Beautiful & Ugly / Struggles & Glory - and let them do the same with you.
- Have people join you (on site) Whenever possible. Give them a chance to experience your life. They will go home with a new sense of the role they play on the team.
When I think back to all that has been accomplished I realize the joy of having done it with so many. Our sacrifices and victories mean so much when I am aware of what we all did to make them happen. I love working with so many wonderful people and I believe that is what God intended...that we do things together and enjoy the miracles and manage the disappointments together. Truly; as we come together and funtion as a team, we do "go far".