Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MISSIONAL LIVING….ON A ’GLOBAL’ SCALE                                                                          

Compartmentalizing, categorization and silo making.  You may not realize it, but if you’re a North American or a church in North America.…you’re good at these.  We have our local community projects/funds here, our international projects/funds there.  Our city activists here, our global people out there (somewhere).  Our ‘missional’ philosophy/efforts, here in our neighborhoods; and our global ‘missions’, far away from here.   

The language and understanding of what’s called ‘missional living’ has been with us for over a decade now.  A mandate that calls each of us, as well as each of our churches to reckon with the idea that as Christ-followers, we all have the opportunity and the responsibility to partner with God in His Missio Dei.  Being on mission with God is an acknowledgement of who we’ve been called to be in this world; and no one of us is exempt!  Wherever God has us; our homes, our communities, or our places of worship, Jesus calls us out to see ourselves as His missionaries, no matter where we are.  So we’ve done that now; for at least a decade.  We’ve looked at ourselves differently and we’ve looked at our homes, communities and churches differently; and its been a good thing.  But a further question is this; in what way does ‘missional living’ and partnering with God in the Missio Dei affect our ‘global missions’ efforts?

For a long time now, the answer to this question for many churches (and many other North American ministries) has been the idea of personal involvement in Short Term Missions; and its been a good thing!  Many followers of Jesus, along with their churches, have seen Short Term Mission as a healthy move away from just supporting missions in the traditional sense to being involved personally in God’s global work in the world; even as a closer way to partner with God in the Missio Dei.  But is this ‘answer’ good enough?  Does Short Term Mission, in the sense that many have experienced it, provide the best answer to the question that ‘missional living’ is asking of us?  Is Short Term Mission a logical step of continuity for ourselves and our churches in how ‘missional living’ affects our ‘global missions’ efforts?

Although Short Term Mission has been with us for awhile now, one of its biggest ‘short-comings’ (pun intended) is contained in its name; SHORT Term Mission.  When you look at it, one of the main characteristics of a ‘missional lifestyle’ where one considers themselves (and/or their church) to be on mission or partnering with God (Missio Dei) is found in the re-education, for many of us as North Americans, on the importance of relationships.  If you look at your home, neighborhood, community, etc. (or that of your church); to live out a ‘missional’  life is to live out a life of long term relationships, and most often, this is the aspect of Short Term Mission that fails to reflect one of the most important characteristics of the ‘missional lifestyle’.  
So how do we address this disparity?  Is there a way that we as churches can be true to our emerging ‘missional lifestyle’  emphasis on vital relationships when it comes to what we do globally through Short Term Mission?  The answer is to go about our global efforts with the same long-term, relationship-driven ‘missional’ emphasis that we apply to our efforts closer to home.  This is where Gateway’s push toward relationship-driven Sister Church Partnerships (SCP) looks to develop a ‘missional’ philosophy where Short Term Mission efforts are done in the context of Long Term mutual relationships.

SCPs provide a context for churches to consistently apply all that they’re seeking to do in partnering with God in the Missio Dei through ‘missional living’ on the global scale as well as at home.  Long-term relationships fit in these partnerships; Short Term Mission team projects fit; support raising efforts fit; connection, communication, coordination, and collaboration between the two partnering churches all fit in a SCP.  When looking at Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8 and then seeing the fleshing out of His words coming true throughout the rest of the book (‘…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth…’), we can see throughout this progression that churches were founded, developed and continued in relationship to each other, even as ‘the ends of the earth’  approached.  Long-term relationships between the churches of the first century became the key to an emerging network of congregations across the known world of the time; and we seek to continue that networking/expansion on the basis of those same types of long-term relationships.  Our context for a global ‘missional lifestyle’  is to be found, not in independent single church efforts (Short Term Mission and otherwise) here and there in the world, but in partnering, even Sister Church Partner-ing, in each others’ global communities and networks for the long-term.   

At Gateway, Sister Church Partnerships, with their intended focus on long-term relationships first and foremost, present churches with a consistent way to apply ’Missional Living’  on a global scale.  If you’re a pastor or a church leader that’s passionate about giving your church opportunities to live missionally in your own community as well as globally, contact us at Gateway via email, Facebook or Twitter or learn more at gatewayteams.org

  • Randy Schmor, Director of Gateway Teams

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring flower show

photo © 2011 John Benson more info (via: Wylio)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPRING!!!! I love spring and all the fresh new changes it brings! We have new changes here at Gateway Teams too - stay tuned for a more lengthy update of all the new and exciting changes taking place with Gateway Teams ministry!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone! God bless you in the coming New Year!
Love the Schmors

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To all of our loyal followers-
We all know that the seed of Christ needs to be spread to those in need. As we do our job in spreading the word of God, we also help to guide these children and give them encouragement to make the seed that the Lord has planted in each one of them grow. As we go through the very few days we have here at Chain of Love, as a team and individually, we are all really coming together to do our best to minister to these children. - From the opposite prospective, the children are also do wonderful things in all of our hearts! - Last week was a week full of soccer and beads!! We´ve all been learning, some slower than others, how to play soccer. It´s really a neat thing to experience. You think when you go on a mission to another country, that it´s about you teaching the people there what you know, when really it´s about them teaching you what they know. It´s really amazing. We have also had a lot of craft classes. Those are always a handful! The kids love making friendship bracelets and bead bracelets! One of the neatest things about the crafts classes was that it wasn´t just a group of girls, there were a lot of the boys that got involved. That was very interesting. We have had a lot of time to really bond with all the kids and I really just want to thank the Lord for this opprotunity that he has given everyone on this team to grow and become more open to the many walks of life that he created for us. As last week came to an end, there was just an amazing feeling of accomplishment radiating off of everyone on campus, including the children. On Friday our team took a trip into a part of Brazil that is known as "Little Italy" of sorts. It was really neat because it wasn´t like you were in Brazil, it was like being in Italy only all the people spoke portuguese. We went to a nice italian restaraunt and then drove around to all the different shops. We met a man who was 94 years old!! His son said the only reason he looked so good was he drank his daily wine, twice a day! :) Then we went to a winery and the adults tasted wine. Of course the under 21ers got grape juice that they made at the winery. It was very very tasty! Much better than Welch´s! We also went to a waterfall and walked behind the water. It was beautiful! After that we went to a few more shops and really had a great bonding experience, I felt, with everyone on the team. Saturday the team went into Campo Bom and just had a day full of shopping. Everyone was a little disappointed that the Indian Market was closed due to rain. Sunday was a good day with the kids! We had a party kind of relative to Super Bowl parties in America. Brazil played in the world cup against The Ivory Coast and won!! Very happy day! We also got the privillage to eat lunch in the families houses before the game. That was very heart-warming. The moment you enter someone´s house, there is just this automatic feeling of acceptance and love! I think it´s wonderful how God puts that quality in all of us, but the people here just do anything they can to express to you how much they care about you even though they may have just met you! It´s just an amazing feeling! Monday was our first day of English as a second language classes. It was really exciting to be able to really be an influence to these children even if it´s something as simple as teaching them how to count or teaching them the difference between red and blue! To see them really catch on and not only tell you they understand but to see that and for them to show you that they listen and they comprehend what you say! It´s very encouraging for us to teach and be taught at the same time! Yesterday was pretty much the same as Monday... EXCEPT FOR! The girls only soccer game! That was something very special to the girls here because it´s usualy mostly the guys that play soccer in the gym. They kind of dominate and the girls don´t really get the chance as often. So they wanted to play Americans versus Brazilians! All of us Americans were scared that we were going to get our butts kicked. Soccer in Brazil is like a religion! Very important! But to the surprise of MANY, AMERICANS WON!!! It was a very nice bonding experience!! Up to today, has been an amazing, very inspiring adventure for all of us! As we begin to bring our mission to a close we just all pray that God will continue to be with us as we start to make our ways home, and to also stay with these children and really inspire them to push on and really have that desire to serve Him and walk with Him. To really just want to be one of His many cities on a hill. Never ceasing to shine for Him! In His holy name!
By - Ashley Rogers, Brazil Gateway Team Journalist, June 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On June 8, a Brazil Gateway Team gathered in Milwaukee, WI for a few days of training before heading to Campo Bom, Brazil on June 11. They came from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Canada, Singapore and Korea; all to serve children at the CHAIN of Love Homes. Here's some pics of our time to this point:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Daniel, Agathe and "baby" Randy

Daniel Wango from Yaounde, Cameroon is here in the USA with us! Daniel represents the Cameroon Baptist Convention Youth Dept. as President. North American Baptist Youth had a Youth Leader Summit in Monterey, CA last week that we invited Daniel to come and be a part of. Gateway Teams has been facilitating a partnership for a number of years between NAB and CBC Youth and having Daniel here as the first Cameroonian to come this way has been great! In addition to the Summit, Daniel went to Southern California for 5 days, is heading to Minneapolis today and will be with us in Wisconsin on Monday before heading home on April 3. Glad to have you here Daniel!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hey Everyone, my good friend, Dave Miller wrote a great article that is linked on the current home page of Christianity Today. Dave and I serve together on the Steering Committee for the Fellowship of Short-Term Mission Leaders.

It's a great article! Please take a look at: http://www.roundtripmissions.com/content/o-youth-pastor-where-art-thou