World Partners Update: December 2011
By Dave Guiles, Executive Director
The Board of Directors was simply doing what boards are supposed to do – they were wrestling with ‘big picture’ issues. That day, they would make a strategic decision that would impact the mission for decades. With courage and foresight, they took a big step of faith and determined to relocate the Home Office. It was the late 1940’s, and the Foreign Missionary Society of the Grace Brethren Church left Long Beach, California, and set up offices in Winona Lake, Indiana.
Why northern Indiana? Grace Theological Seminary had recently established its campus there, moving from its birthplace near Ashland, Ohio. And Winona Lake was considered by many to be a leading center of evangelical activity. Continue...
Sooner or later, true followers of Christ come face to face with the reality that the world will not be reached without significant discomfort and radical change. The Apostle Paul summarizes this truth as follows:
I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I might share in its blessings (1 Cor 9:22-23).
What would lead a man like Paul to embrace radical change? Why would he leave the comfort of his home, the close support of his friends and a fruitful ministry? Because of a little word that carries a big price tag: all.
For several decades, most of you have known us by our dba (doing business as) – Grace Brethren International Missions. While GBIM is a meaningful label for insiders, we’ve been asking ourselves what it communicates to those on the outside; namely, the young generation we are seeking to mobilize and the non-believers we are seeking to reach.
With this question in mind, we began a yearlong process of self-discovery that included interviews with key FGBC leaders, discussions with potential missionaries and an extensive web-based survey with many of you. With the assistance of The CSK Group, a team of consultants with a strong evangelical background and lots of real-life experience, we processed the results and learned much about ourselves.
Overall, our findings were very encouraging! For example, we learned that we have real strengths in many of the areas that influence potential missionaries as they select an agency with which to serve. In addition, the overwhelming response to our internet survey demonstrated the high degree of support we enjoy among our churches and friends. Equally important, we identified some key areas where we need to improve over the next few years. Continue...