The turning of the calendar from one year to the next, brings with it the opportunity to reflect on the past as well as cast vision and set goals for the future. As it is with any individual so it has been for ACLAME as an organization. The 10 missionary educators that comprise the ACLAME Leadership Team met from December 14-16 in Springfield, MO to take advantage of that opportunity. In our reflection time together, there were many reasons to rejoice as we observed:
- increasing opportunities for leadership
- growing demand for training on all levels from Sunday School teachers to Bible school professors, and
- continued appreciation for the ministry of LAC missionaries as a result of the relational approach that has been the cornerstone of our missiology.
Still, as it is with any honest evaluation, we took time to consider the challenges that we face as we interface with the increasingly complex work of ministerial formation due to:
- the increasing maturity and independence of national works,
- the lack of ministerial formation among many of the missionary candidates coming to our organization, and
- the increasing involvement of disparate and independent ministries among our sister A/G Fellowships.
It was with those positive developments and challenges, as well as the insight of the 2017 ACLAME Summit in mind, that we met to discuss how best to support all LAC missionaries in their work of discipling, teaching, mentoring, and training ministers throughout the region.
During our time together, we resonated with the elevation of training to one of the COR3 mandates of our region and recognized its elemental nature as a component of the missionary task. Therefore, we committed ourselves as an organization to not only champion the importance of training but also support missionaries throughout the region and across all initiatives with relevant, quality resources and instruction as they work toward multiplying themselves in their diverse ministry contexts.
This desire to “add value” to the LAC Region led us to enumerate our own values as we seek to take advantage of the opportunities that we’ve identified and rise to meet the challenges that we face. Those values are as follows:
- Advocacy: we are convinced that ministerial training is foundational to the basic win-train-plant/send missionary task and to current and future LAC missions initiatives. We commit to the clear communication of that conviction to the church, both sending and receiving on behalf of the missionary as well as the encouragement of the missionary to prioritize multiplication, to commit to the task of training in their own ministry.
- Diversity: we realize that although the message does not change, the methodology can and should. Therefore, we embrace the diversity of the backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and approaches that shape both the individuals and cultures among which we work, and seek to discover with them the diverse means that will bring about creative solutions to the challenges of modern ministry.
- Relationship: we understand that we accomplish the work through an environment of trust and mutual appreciation. Partnership is emphasized over productivity. AGWM enjoys a special status among the national works due to the relationships that have been cultivated thought its history of service. Time spent in cultivating those relationships is not wasted.
- Service: we appreciate our role as one of support of the LAC missionary and the national church. Our role is not to mandate and direct, but to facilitate and resource.
As we continue into the New Year, we look forward to fleshing out our values in a variety of ways including:
- A redesigned logo emphasizing our connectedness with one another and service of the LAC region.
- The continued publication of our enhanced Bulletin, which will feature articles that will further explain and illustrate our values.
- Webinars designed to give voice to our community and activate our members. (Save the date for our next one on February 27th with Dave Ellis!)
We’re excited for what’s to come. So, on behalf of the ACLAME Leadership Team, I wish you a heartfelt, Happy New Year with the hope to be of service to you throughout 2018.