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Report on visioning meeting in Prague


Jim Ramsay, senior director of field ministry, reports on the recent visioning meeting which took place in Prague.

For the past year, The Mission Society has been in a process of looking ahead 25 years and considering what the world might look like, what role we might need to play in that world, and most importantly, what should we be doing now to move that direction. We are calling this our “Horizon Vision Initiative.” As a culmination of this process, a group of 31 people gathered for a week in Prague to work on these issues. The group represented missionaries of various ages, lengths of service, and locations of service, staff, board, and guests. The week was facilitated by Bill O’Brien, former executive vice president of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board.

It was a very intense time of seeking the Lord together and all the participants felt that the Spirit was very much guiding our thoughts throughout the week. We did arrive at some conclusions. Of course, these become input into continuing discussions at various levels and constituencies within the organization – at this time they do not represent final directions, but reflect where we are in the process of discernment. Some of the highlights include:

  • We believe that we will increasingly find ourselves in collaborative relationships with others engaged in Kingdom work. That network will become increasingly global in nature and will increasingly be led by believers from areas that in the past had been considered mission-receiving cultures.
  • We will maintain a commitment to living incarnationally and keep exploring what that means in the different contexts we’ll find ourselves in the future.
  • We heard a strong mandate to keep abreast of issues of justice and to be intentional in finding appropriate and Spirit-led ways to be advocates for people who are victims of injustice and oppression.
  • Our commitment to helping plant and strengthen churches continues. We recognize that the definition of “church” is changing, so we want to be sure we are seeking movements to God that may come in different forms in different cultures. The key component to any healthy church or movement is the making of disciples who themselves can make disciples.
  • We need to keep a keen eye toward the unfinished task and seek opportunities to reach the least reached of the world’s people groups.
  • Missions increasingly will require new approaches of entry into the culture. We need to have understanding in how to engage in business as mission and how to send people as professionals such as educators, community developers, and other specialties. In all these cases, they need to be trained on how to effectively live incarnationally in the culture and share the love of Christ in ways that the people will be able to understand.

There was consensus that the world will be a more complicated place in 25 years and that the challenges to the faith and to world mission will be great. But there also is the realization that we serve a great God and that He truly is the only answer to the huge challenges facing our world today. If those who believe in Him will work together, the goal of reaching all peoples with the Gospel could actually be realized in the next generation.

We really don’t know what The Mission Society will look like in 25 years any more than the founders of the organization in 1984 knew what we would look like today. But they served with vision and commitment, looking to God for direction. The result is the organization we have today. May we also have that same vision and commitment to allow the Spirit to form us into what He desires for the future.