Changes, Challenges and Being Better Together
By Natalie Meeks
GREENVILLE, SC – We are many, and yet we are one. How can this be? Pastor and Missions Leader David Platt once said, “The body of Christ is a multicultural citizenry of an otherworldly Kingdom.”
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (I Corinthians 12:12-13)
Over a crisp and beautiful May weekend, more than twenty missionaries traveled from all across Latvia to Eagle’s Wings Camp to attend BBI’s Mission Incubator retreat. But, you might be asking…
What exactly is a Mission Incubator?
As the years go by and times change, so do the tools, tactics, resources and challenges of the mission field. Mission Incubator is a response to these challenges. It is an opportunity for missionaries and their thought partners to retreat – to fellowship, to encourage, to create prospective partnerships and to discuss the important questions common to all in the mission field.
Led by BBI President Chuck Kelley and organized by Mission Mobilization Director Madara Molnika, the weekend initiative spanned the activity gamut…from shared meals to ping-pong games, excursions to the sauna to devoted time in prayer, worship sessions led by musician David Michael Carrilo, to thought-provoking discussions. This brief weekend away was deemed a great blessing for these followers of Christ who sacrifice much, living out the day-to-day grind of mission service in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Small group discussions centered on topics of critical and contemporary importance; namely, that missionaries today are currently facing significant challenges that didn’t exist in the same way just a few years ago. Within this discussion context, several common threads surfaced:
- The culture of communication has changed globally. Although more communication vehicles exist today than ever before, responsiveness to contact has dwindled reciprocally. Missionaries from all different ministries and organizations are struggling with this newly imprinted lackadaisical mentality toward reply.
- The days of big events have passed. And so, it must be asked – What will catch the attention of the culture? What can missionaries and ministries do that illustrates to society at large, the greatness of God and their need for Him? BBI’s overall Art Vision and upcoming “Secret Double” public exhibition is garnering tremendous interest as an exciting way to answer this need.
- Mission Days 2017 was discussed – What was great? What could be improved? How can we engage Latvian pastors in such a way that they are excited to involve their congregations?
Mission Incubator lasted but a weekend, but the fruits of the relationships fostered and visions captured will endure. And because of that, the Latvian people will be blessed and the name of Christ glorified.
When we link hands… We think better. We pray better. We dream better. We minister better. And we love better.
We are many, and yet we are one. And when we are together, we are better!