Dear missions family-
Happy new year! Here at home office, the start of 2016 finds us in the middle of much change. We are thankful for God's faithfulness; it is only through his enabling that we are able to steward the growth he's giving us. What does it mean for us that God is faithful? Here are just a few examples:
- We saw a sharp increase in giving at the end of 2015. This is helping to position us for some strategic changes in 2016.
- Among those changes are systems improvements that will make everyone's lives and work much easier, both home office staff and missionaries. More details to come!
- We have two new faces around home office: Jessica Stacks has joined us as a receptionist and financial processor, and Sylvia Grace came all the way from Barcelona to intern with us for three months.
- We added 22 new missionaries to our family through Missionary Orientation Training!
- We tried many new things for our November annual conference, and learned much! We are thankful for the missionaries, attendees, volunteers, and facilitators who helped make it such a great event. Videos from the main sessions will be available at globaloutreach.org/conference in future days, so stay tuned! We already have one regional conference planned in Nashville later this month--more details here--and we are hoping to set up more in advance of our next annual conference.
- The new globaloutreach.org is easier on the eyes, and it's easier for folks to find and donate to our missionaries. (If you're a missionary reading this who has yet to update their photo or bio, please email email@example.com with updates as soon as you can!)
- We are working on a new initiative called Global Outreach Innovation, from which we will offer leadership training and development to churches and ministries as well as to businesses and governments as a form of marketplace missions. Steadman is taking the lead on this with curriculum powered by the Center for Creative Leadership, and several staff members and interns are joining him for coordination and training. We are excited for the potential GO-Innovation has to connect Global with more partners around the world!
- Finally, we are most thankful for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the new life that is available to us in the kingdom of God. Apart from these things, "our striving would be losing," as one of Martin Luther's hymns puts it.
Our Work and True Worship
In our morning prayer and devotion time last Thursday, we read Romans 12:1-2 and reflected on the true nature of worship. Paul instructs believers to "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice...this is your true and proper worship." In the North American church, it's easy to fall into the trap of equating "worship" with "gathering to sing songs together in church," but this misses the beautiful New Testament truth that worship is, essentially, obedience. Worship is expressed in both intention and action. When Paul says "offer your bodies," he really means it--everything that we do, say, think, feel, intend, and decide is to be brought under the lordship of Christ. As D.A. Carson puts it: "We cannot imagine that the church gathers for worship on Sunday morning if by this we mean that we then engage in something that we have not been engaging in the rest of the week."
This is especially meaningful to us at home office because much of our work is mundane, repetitive, and data-heavy. Perhaps some of you can relate. Our daily work and obedience may have moments of brilliance. Usually, however, being faithful means showing up and getting done what needs to get done, no matter how unglamorous. Because "worship" is not limited to a specific time, place, or action, we can take heart that our diligent work, done in and for the kingdom of God, is truly meaningful; it is part of the offering of our bodies that is true and proper worship. So be encouraged, friends: even the most mundane tasks are part of your God-enabled worship if you ask this day, and each day, for the Spirit's help to treat them as such. As Paul has put it elsewhere: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Please pray with us that the Lord would continue to provide: in wisdom, in prayer support, and in financial partnership, so that we can better serve our missionaries and proclaim the Gospel through word and deed in many more contexts worldwide.
We are thankful for all of you reading this. Please don't hesitate to reach out if we can pray for you or serve you in some way. And remember that our morning prayer / devotion times (8:30am each weekday) are always open to the public!
Rory Tyer, VP of Marketing
and the Home Office staff