LEADERSHIP ENLARGEMENT, NOT REPLACEMENT
As we are expanding our geographic framework to include approximately 74 Area Circle Teams (ACTs), each with its own spiritual eldership…WHAT ARE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN EACH OF THE ACTs? (Remember, the number and boundaries of these ACTs will likely adjust as we work with this concept and receive feedback.)
1. FULFILL THE CHRISTIAN MAGNA CARTA
(You can find the original document here):
The Christian Magna Carta states that because God so loved the world (John 3:16)…
–Everyone on earth has the right to HEAR THE GOSPEL in his/her own language. Therefore, we as believers in Christ have the responsibility to fill all 4k Omega Zones (including serving all Unreached People Groups [UPGs] and especially the Unengaged Unreached People Groups [UUPGs]) with THE ALLS AND EVERYS OF THE GOSPEL (Mark 16:15).
–The BIBLE needs to be made available to every household—but ALSO to nomads and the homeless who don’t have houses (Matthew 28:18-20).
–All believers (the “Church”) have the right to a FELLOWSHIP GROUP for WORSHIP, EVANGELIZING, DISCIPLESHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY—whether or not they have a building called a “church” (Matthew 28:18-2).
–CHRISTIAN EDUCATION (founded in a biblical Christian worldview) needs to be available for the young—including not only preschool through university, but distance learning, home schooling, church education programs, etc (Matthew 28:18-20).
–Everyone has the right to receive ministries of mercy: FOOD, DRINK, SHELTER, CLOTHING, HEALTHCARE (Matthew 25:35,36). This needs to happen via ALL MEANS: prayer/gift of healing (1 Corinthians 12), miracles (Romans 1); exploring who God is in His ways of health and healing by discovering His natural laws via healthcare professions and “medical science,” etc. These ministries of mercy also include visiting prisoners—both those who need mercy (i.e., those justly accused), and those who need justice (i.e., those who have been falsely accused), including our YWAM missionaries and co-workers in Christ who are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.
— The last point of the Christian Magna Carta, “the right to LEAD A PRODUCTIVE LIFE OF FULFILLMENT spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically,” talks about not our responsibilities, but the resulting blessings from God when we are responsible.
2. CHAMPION ALL 4K OMEGA ZONES IN EACH OF YWAM’S ACTs.
We are to highlight the need to influence all SEVEN SPHERES OF SOCIETY in each and every Omega Zone by sharing clear vision for short-term and long-term opportunities in each of the spheres. Within the sphere of Religion, this includes, of course, pioneering a YWAM OpLoc in every Omega Zone. “Operating Location” or “OpLoc” is our generic term for a base, center, campus, vessel, etc. The name itself is simply a descriptive word chosen by the local operating location and is not a sign of distinction, hierarchy or status. We in leadership recognize every OpLoc as an equally valued ministry.
There are also Thematic YWAM ministries, such as YWAM Ships, King’s Kids, Justice Water, Create International, etc. These ministries, of course, live somewhere geographically and either work out of their own particular OpLoc, or a larger and more diversified OpLoc that embraces their ministry. This is needful for practical, relational and accountability purposes.
Elders of ACTs are to give a “Macedonian call” for workers for the “empty zones” through PRAYING FOR LABORERS (Luke 10:2), and COMMUNICATING THE VISION via all methods possible. They are to serve via generosity, hospitality, teaching, prophesying, pastoring, and helping others to pioneer their ministries into those empty zones—both those that are nearby, and also those far away: ANY Omega Zone on Planet Earth that needs workers, i.e. even beyond your area.
Our growth has always required ENLARGEMENT of, and NOT the REPLACEMENT OF OUR LEADERSHIP GROUPS in YWAM! Replacement demands “starting over.” Our YWAM structures change every few years—including their names. We are moving toward a more and more open structure, making room for younger generations, and yet not losing present leaders. We continue to need their lessons of history, YWAM DNA, and their deep commitment to fulfilling our Covenants with God, as well as their gifts and callings both corporately and individually, which do not change (Romans 11:29).
The vast majority of these new areas need to be pioneered and the ACTs will be recognized as they emerge with the fruitfulness that demonstrates that God’s anointing is upon them.
Every few years in YWAM, we have expanded the global leadership. Change often brings some discomfort. This is similar to what older siblings feel in nuclear families when a new brother or sister is born, and even more so with the birth of twins, triplets, handicapped children, adopted children etc. due to the shift of attention and added responsibilities to accommodate a growing family. Growth means life; lack of growth means that death has begun. We learned starting in 1969 that training is a “multiplier for missions” (a description that UofN co-founder Howard Malmstadt coined with the establishment of the university in 1978). In the SG2014 Resources Dropbox see the 2014 growth charts in the Power Point section.
The GROWTH of NUMBERS OF SCHOOLS in YWAM directly relates to STAFF GROWTH as well as growth in NUMBERS OF COUNTRIES represented by location and among students. Therefore, staff growth relates very directly to geographical vision. As we have moved toward “every country a YWAM presence,” we constantly grew. The next phase and faith challenge is now every Omega Zone.
3. GROW INTO ALL SEVEN SPHERES (demographics) INCLUDING ALL PEOPLE GROUPS (Revelation 7:9) IN EVERY OMEGA ZONE (geographics)
It is my firm conviction that we are on the crest of the greatest move of God resulting in the greatest growth in all of history of Christ’s Great Kingdom, because:
–The Bible says so in Isaiah 9:7 and Revelation 7:9. Studies by Dr. David Barrett, Editor of World Christian Encyclopedia, and Dr. Ralph Winter, US Center for World Missions, show that the increase in ratio of Christians against population growth has continued since Acts 2. It’s a 2000-year spiritual and social trend, backed by God’s promise and “the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform it.” Why would increase not continue with seven billion population and counting? Therefore the NEXT WAVE is now mounting and will become THE GREATEST WAVE IN ALL OF MISSIONS HISTORY.
Therefore God has asked us again—as our YWAM global leaders did at gatherings in 1973 and 19810—to relinquish our titles, rights, personal agendas, comforts and expectations. He knows that as we grow and enter our next spiritual battles that will surely come, these could be used as snares to thwart and sabotage the next level of our call as YWAM. The Lord is calling us to flourish in His presence and in unity with each other and convene and converge internally in YWAM and externally in the broader body of Christ globally. However, in order to cope, we must have “the rest of faith”—joy, peace and love—while fulfilling Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.” We need to manage the great gains in the Kingdom not with our managing might or our controlling power but “by my Spirit,” says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6).
We have started on our journey by opening our eyes and hearts to God’s vision with faith, by obedience to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and by moving geographical lines from 27 regions to our new approximately 74 ACTs with convening elders who will rotate the role of chair. This will keep the eldership fresh and dependent on the Holy Spirit and accountable to Him and each other in unity. It also removes the target on the backs of high-profile leaders from view by radicals and “demonized crazies” in several areas of the world. Persecution will also increase especially through social media (and repeated by traditional media), as well as legal persecution by lawsuits, evil governments, false accusations, etc. A lower profile in the eyes of the world is a protection into the future.
Immediately, during the remaining months of 2014, field conveners will be calling on the Area Circle Teams to form elderships so there is no spiritual vacuum allowed for the enemy’s tricks or temptations. These newly formed ACTs will confirm and commission elders. (Review the TriPod/Eldership message from Nanning 2002 in the Signpost Messages in the SG2014 Resource dropbox.)
The seven YWAM Field conveners, commissioned in Singapore to serve through September 2015, will no doubt go through changes, which will be less dramatic next time around. However all reformations must be led by the Holy Spirit, with elders who are global in ministry experience (their “parish is the world”) and local in experience, with accountability and heart commitment to YWAM’s people—therefore GLOCAL. Their purpose and record of leadership includes not only history and the now, but they are to be visionary, with a commitment for the future beyond personal concerns, embracing the ALLS and EVERYS of the Great Commission.
More on apostolic succession and forming eldership teams with broad diversity in my next letter….