Providing expertise on everything mission (well, almost everything)…

On our staff and board we have a wealth of expertise in many areas of mission, not just those which involve Pioneers. Feel free to use us as a sounding board if you’d like help moving forward.

Mission Plus

Are you looking for some training in mission? Are you confused by the options available? Would you like an opinion about what each option has to offer, or if you should just learn “on the job”?

Jamie sits on the advisory council or reference group of a couple of tertiary institutions, but we also have a broad understanding of available Bible College and mainstream courses and try to remain up to date with who’s offering what.

More importantly, as we discuss where you’re wanting to head in mission the appropriate training options will likely become obvious.

Whether in New Zealand or overseas, on-site or by distance, we can probably help you find your best fit in mission education.

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A pith helmet and a machete cutting a path through the jungle, or hair up in a bun and dowdy out-of date clothing, it’s amazing how these stereotypes of a “missionary” tend to endure. The reality couldn’t be more different (although, you do occasionally strike the dowdy clothes). Today you’ll more likely find “missionaries” as cafe owners in sharp suits in South Asia, pip fruit orchardists in boots and jeans in Central Asia, university lecturers with remote in hand in East Asia, or the manager of a hard rock band in Indonesia.

The more common roles of school teacher, health care worker, and aid and development still exist but as the world is developing, those roles are increasingly being taken up by locals.

The variety of roles in mission is only limited by your imagination. But the multiplicity of choice can be overwhelming.

A consultation with us can help you navigate your way forward.

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What are the best ways to ensure workers in mission are able “go the distance” and achieve all that God is calling them to accomplish? We have decades of experience in what is commonly called “member care” and some of our staff are heavily involved in the mission care scene in New Zealand and beyond.

A critical junction point for the care of workers overseas is a strong relationship with the sending church. Sometimes it gets a little confusing to decide when an issue should involve the church and what should be left in the hands of the organisation their members in mission are working with. Often the right decision is to work collaboratively to address a crisis or point of tension.

In order to help us partner well with sending churches here in New Zealand, we have developed a Partnership Agreement that clearly articulates what responsibilities the church will carry, what their member in mission needs to do, and what the mission organisation will take primary responsibility for. We’ve found this covers most contingencies, but by no means all. The key is open and free communication based on trusting relationships. It takes time to develop such relationships but the Partnership Agreement goes a long way to ensure we’re all singing from the same song sheet.

If you’d like a sample of the Partnership Agreement, download the PDF here =>  Sample Partnership Agreement

We’re more than happy to discuss our care strategies with you and help you develop your own…

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Increasingly mission practitioners are turning to the business world for ways to get the gospel into places where it’s least known. But the transition is not easy for ministry trained people to make. Business development requires a specialist set of skills, especially the type of entrepreneurial business required in most missions situations.

In recent years there has been a shift toward business trained people attempting mission without adding ministry training to their skill set. Many business people grossly underestimate the cross-cultural challenges involved in doing business in another country, let alone how to find ways to integrate the gospel into their strategies.

Are you thinking about integrating business and mission? Are you willing to explore the implications and discuss various methodologies? You could move ahead blindly or you could chat with us about what we’ve learned from our workers’ experience.

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What is the difference between altruistic/atheistic humanitarians and Christians educated in mission when it comes to aid and development work? The former are arguably better trained for the job! However, Christians bring a unique element to the mix – the presence of God. While we believe He is present everywhere, there is a dimension of presence manifest through the life of a believer that non-Christians cannot replicate. It often results in a more compassionate approach, a higher morality, and longer term sustainability.

How can you navigate your way around the pitfalls and roadblocks when it comes to development? What training and resources are available? What avenues are there for service in aid/development?

You can’t work for long in impoverished situations without learning a thing or two about working with communities in crisis or need and many of our members are doing just that. Maybe we can help you sort things through?

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Have you noticed a marked rise in passion amongst young adults for justice issues? Aid agencies and pop culture icons have certainly made an impression on the emerging generation – the ones who grew up with end of the cold war, the beginning of the war on terror, fair trade, climate change, human trafficking, the refugee highway, child prostitution, and many other dysfunctions of our world today… along with positive parenting. It’s no wonder they (you?) want to change the world for the better! And they (you?) probably will.

We’re passionate about an integrated whole gospel. But activists and supernaturalists can tend to pull in opposite directions. How do you maintain the passion for ‘here and now’ while encouraging people to reorient themselves to the ‘bye and bye’. What are the pitfalls of activism and advocacy across cultures? How can we fan into flame zeal while delaying action to ensure adequate preparation? What is ‘adequate’?! These are the types of questions we’re dealing with on a weekly basis. Need ideas?

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Are you part of your missions team at church? Have you an interest in mission that you wish your friends would try to understand? Are you wanting help to raise support or sponsorship for a mission cause? Mission promotion is a core part of our activities and we are exposed to the mission promotional strategies of our many partner churches.

Cross-cultural ministry no longer seems as exotic and mysterious as it once did. These days we have National Geographic channel, the Amazing Race, and a host of global travel shows revealing the world to us – not to mention 24/7 news and the internet. ‘Competing’ with that sort of exposure is impossible. ‘Leveraging’ that sort of exposure for mission is more feasible. We’re always happy to chat about innovative ideas to expose people to the needs of the world, particularly the need for the gospel.

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If you’ve read each section here you’ll realize that cross-cultural ministry (aka ‘mission’) is fraught with challenges. It can be a discouraging road to walk if you don’t have a deep sense that God is calling you to walk it. Idealism, altruism (a desire to do good), and romanticism will only take you so far – about six months.

You need a good strategy, a great support team, realistic expectations and a reasonable good sense of self to confidently move ahead. We can help you find your way forward, with ways around the problems. Don’t reinvent the wheel…

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So. You’re involved in a trust or some other not-for-profit entity. You’ve found yourself in the middle of a dysfunctional system. You’re part of a group responsible for the successful outcomes of an organization but sense a power struggle between the trustees and staff.

These situations and many more face any organization of people under a formal entity – a business, a trust,  a church, a club, a family. We’ve learned a few things about setting up a healthy relationship between a governance body (trustees) and staff team (employees/volunteers). Some of it we learned the hard way – but that doesn’t mean you have to. There are principles available to help you achieve your aims and objectives. If you’d like, we can come and discuss them with ‘your people’.

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Aren’t missionaries a dying breed? Isn’t the age of mission rapidly drawing to a close? Surely it’s more effective to finance indigenous people to reach those closest to them? Well, it’s not that simple.

The missions scene is changing, for sure. We’re seeing a shift away from the paternal attitudes of the West to a much more humble partnering with the ‘rest’, but they are slow shifts and old habits are hard to break.

So, what is happening to Christianity in the world?  What is the future of mission likely to look like? What role should Kiwis play in the scheme of things? Where is the world heading and what ought we to prepare for?

We have our finger on the pulse of many global Evangelical mission shifts. If these are the sort of questions you’d like to explore…

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Basically, whatever question arises in your mind about mission matters, we’re happy to discuss it with you – no obligation, and no expectation of it leading to or requiring membership in Pioneers down the road. It’s simply a service we have available to help Kiwis do mission better.