Monday 21 March 2011

Global MC—Pearl One

Highlighting Member Care History

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls;
each one of the gates was a single pearl.
Revelation 21:21

This new set of entries explores member care by using brief quotes from the book, Global Member Care: The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (published February 2011). There will be one quote from each of the book's 12 chapters. Each quote is like a huge pearl--a pearl gateway--that allows us to enter more fully into the global field of member care.

Pearl One
"Over the last twenty years, a special ministry within the Christian mission/aid sector, really a movement, has developed around the world that is called member care. At the core of member care is a commitment to provide ongoing, supportive resources to further develop mission/aid personnel. Currently there are an estimated 400,000 full-time "foreign missionaries" and over 11.8 million national Christian workers from all denominations (Johnson, Barrett, and Crossing, 2010). Our member care parish (or catchment area), so to speak, is huge! But these figures do not reflect the number of Christians involved in the overlapping area of humanitarian aid, nor do they reflect the unknown number of "tentmakers" or Christians who intentionally work in different countries while also sharing their good works and faith. Sending organizations and churches, colleagues and friends, specialist providers, and also locals who are befriended are key sources of such care. ...Member care, I have learned over and over again, is not about creating a comfortable lifestyle. Nor is it about trusting people instead of trusting God. Rather, it is about further developing the resiliency to do our work well which includes our character, competencies,and social support. It is also about developing relational resiliency, which includes working through the inevitable differences and impasses with international and local fellow-workers." (pages 5, 7)

Reflection and Discussion
**Recall one aspect of your life/work that relates to the quote above.

**Have a go at connecting the above quote with a current international area that interests/concerns you.

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