More Missionaries, More Missionaries
I'm amazed at the growth Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators is experiencing. When I came on board in the Fall of 2007, we served between forty to fifty missionaries. When I moved back to Florida at the end of 2008, we had around seventy.
Shepherd's Staff, at that time, created the position of Regional Mission Pastor (RMP). Pastor Pat Kenney and I divided the US at the Rocky Mountains. He oversees missionaries to the west and I to the east.
In 2009, seven missionaries have joined us from South Florida not counting the three currently in the application process. 20 total from my region since the RMP position was created. Nationwide, we're up to 110 total missionaries.
Here's a list of churches served in my territory:
Low Country Community Church, South Carolina
Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Alabama
Calvary Chapel Kalamazoo Valley, Michigan
Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg, Florida
Brentwood Baptist, Tennessee
Walnut Grove Chapel, Indiana
Community Church, Wisconsin
Calvary Chapel Boynton Beach, Florida
Calvary Chapel Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Oak Mountain Presbyterian, Alabama
Whether or not the new missionary is in my territory I get to interact with each one during intake process. If they are in my area, I wear a human resources hat and conduct interviews and track down references. Intake includes some counseling, advising, and training. Because I also oversee the website, I build an online profile for the incoming missionaries on both our website and Facebook page.
It's a privilege to serve so many missionaries and do whatever we can to get their stories out there on the Internet. We also make it easy for churches and friends to partner financially. It's an incredible blessing to have such technology at our fingertips to help us interact with those obedient to the call of missions on their lives.
There is a stark contrast between raising support as a US based missionary in an administrative support role versus the overseas ministry pioneering role. I think you'd agree that one is much more appealing in an Indiana Jones kind of way. But I hope I can get you to agree with me, also, that both roles are necessary. When my family and I launched into our South Sudan Missions Endeavor several years ago, we raised $10,000 in one weekend at our church. Sudan was something folks could get on board with. Contrast that to pitching for support to folks about my human resources-training-pastoral-website management-consultation-administration role. It's not nearly as adventurous and we've felt it as we've worked to keep our support at a level we can live on in our South Florida economy. Last month our support plunged two thousand dollars. Thankfully, I've been able to pick up some work with a tree service a couple of days a week to supplement. (Believe it or not, I used to work as a tree faller when I lived in Northern California when I was a younger man cutting down giant Redwoods and Douglas fir.) It's a good "tent-making" job, but it takes me out of the office a couple of days a week.
Thanks to all of you who continue to support and have contributed in the past. We thank God for you and covet your prayers. I'm thankful also for Shepherd's Staff for contributing to our income from day one. As our responsibilities have increased, so has the support from them.Please pray about partnering with Shepherd's Staff and my family as we continue to provide valuable support to missionaries and their churches.
There are three ways to give:
1. Mail a check to:
Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators
PO Box 53640
Albuquerque, NM 87153-3640
**Write #0513 in the memo.
2. Electronic Funds Transfer
click here to download form.
Our missionary account number is 0513.
3. Give online:
Our cell phone plan expired so my wife and I got each other a new iPhone for Christmas. I did not like the way our website looked on the phone's browser; it changed the look of our menus by making them wrap into two rows. So I made some modifications to our site to appear more iPhone friendly.
You can listen to our podcast two ways on your iPhone:
1. click on the podcast icon and it opens a nice page that allows you to listen on your phone's iPod application.
2. click on the iTunes icon on our page or blog, you can also listen. Both open up very nicely on the iPhone. I was pleasantly surprised. Give it a try. Our current podcast series is a college level church planting course taught by our founder Pastor Jeff Jackson at Calvary Chapel Bible College.
Here's another interesting stat for those of you who like numbers. Our website was getting about 300 hits a month when I began working here in 2007. Now it gets about 9000 a month with inbound links from our podcast, missionary blogs, web searches, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Christine Scheller, writer for Christianity Today, wrote an incredible article about our family. Check it out online here.
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