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What if?

Mar 2, 2016 at 16:01
Category: Follow the Money!

 

We have friends her in the North American part of the minority world who have a common friend in the majority world who is a wonderfully fruitful disciple maker.  The idea was floated to invite this majority world brother to come and share with us here.  He is making disciples and most of us here are not.  

The idea was to see if the circle here could put up some funds for his airfare and an honorarium and commit to a weekend seminar together.  This did not happen simply because there was not sufficient commitment to it.   Nice idea but few wanted to commit to it.  All good. 

Then I thought what if there had been the commitment to the weekend but we had asked the majority world brother what he wanted to do with that commitment?

What commitment?  Well, to make the weekend work we would have needed about 30 people to put up at least $100 each to cover plane fare and a small honorarium.  Plus travel, food, lodging and time off work for those travelling could have added an additional average cost of $400 per person (assuming some were close by and could commute from home).  Thus the cost of the seminar could easily run to $20,000.  

So I asked the majority world brother which he would have wanted- to come and do the seminar for a $1,000 honorarium or have $20,000 to invest in all of the projects that he is involved with?  

His response?  He would take the $20,000 since anything he could say was  pretty much already on his website and face book pages and if some one really wanted to interact with him, they could do so via Skype.  

All hypothetical since the commitment was not there and the question was never asked but the truth is that minority world christians often spend more on conferences and seminars for themselves than they invest in their own communities or the  majority world.  

Your comments?

Your brother

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Comments



Brian, 03-03-16 02:11:
You are absolutely right. And might I add that conference-hoppers always look to so-called mighty men of God for more knowledge and anointing, when all they need to do is obey Jesus as a lifestyle. It's easier to follow a man than it is follow Jesus.

I am challenged by this daily.

Love,
Brian


Kirk, 03-03-16 20:43:
Hi Steve,

I'm involved in disciple making training, so the question was of great interest to me. Here are some of the guidelines I follow and related practices:

ABCs of good training:

First, good training is accessible by the right people. Since the right people usually have secular employment, training needs to take place once a week over one to two months.

Second, good training is balanced with practice. People make disciples by what they do, not by what they know. On-the-job training creates this expectation and facilitates its fulfillment.

Third, good training happens in community. Initiating movements is a team effort. Because of this, I try to invite teams of two or three to my trainings and then incorporate them into a larger learning community.

Finally, good training is delivered over time. This lets people learn and apply one skill or principle before moving on to the next one. It is slow – but it works!

Dealing with costs:

Part of keeping the trainings accessible means keeping costs down. One way I've done this is by having some (or all) of the training via web-conferencing. This wouldn't work in all situations, and is better if there is some face-to-face time, too. However, when it can be done, it is very useful.

Together with you,

Kirk


David, 26-03-16 19:13:
Hi, Steve,

Since you asked, let me share what I think. It's hard for those who come from Christendom background to be de-toxicated from meeting, seminar and conference syndromes! So they need to be intentionally told that these are syndromes that they have to outgrow if they are to be consistent with our house/simple/organic church (HC) paradigm.

In Asia, HC leaders in each country are trying to meet for once a year to model body-life and to plan intentional programs on multiplying disciples and HCs from each community to the rest of Asia and beyond. In order to have face-to-face relational links across the continent, we've had 5 continental conferences of about 30-50 representatives from ASIAN countries since 2006, too. We also hosted Global HC conference twice: the first in Nov. 2009 in New Delhi (140 made it), and second in May 2015 in Bangkok (120 made it) - about 60% were locals. It helps the younger leaders and movements to feel that they're part of what God is doing mightily nowadays. I'm not so sure that linking via internet (skype, facebook) is good enough for the future, but we've already made plans to call for another global conference in June 28-30, 2018 in Bandung. Pls. note that the venues are located in the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim worlds, respectively. Asian HC networks are pretty missional, mainly because our neighbors have yet to know Jesus!

We're also trying to become more secular - implanting ourselves in the socio-cultural organizations and movements in our contexts. Hence we'll be minimizing our contacts and relationships with Christendom groups & networks, perhaps only with the exception of Lausanne movement where some of us hope to get some "converts" to HC more easily.

In all these, external funding is hardly needed, since each HC leader and network is self-supporting. We shock Christendom folks by saying that we do "zero-budget church planting"! In the Philippines, we're starting to pool our financial resources together to form coops and social enterprises to rid our communities of mass poverty, and esp. to replace the oppressive capitalist (profit/greed-oriented) market economy with the social solidarity economy (SSE) where the poor can lift themselves out of poverty together through social entrepreneurship and fair trade.

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