At our International Leadership meetings at the start of the year, we sensed strong conviction from the Spirit that we needed to be even more ‘Kingdom centered’ than before, and never ‘Servants centered’ – putting the survival or growth of our organisation ahead of the agenda of God’s Kingdom and Jesus’ teachings. Like every other organisation or movement (including the church), we are simply scaffolding, to be put up, taken down and moved around. The ‘building’ – the focus, the point, the real deal – is the Kingdom of God and the person of Jesus. Out of this deeper understanding came the following document titled Recruiting with Integrity.
“The appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. We never use flattery, nor do we put on a mask to cover up greed – God is our witness”.
I Thessalonians 2:2-5
1. Honesty and Accuracy:
We won’t use manipulative tactics in encouraging others to join or support us. Stories are the most powerful medium we have for conveying our message, but we will ensure all our stories are accurate, and resist any temptation to embellish them, or to embellish our personal or Servants accomplishments. We will speak and act with humility.
2. We will Encourage Enquirers to Count the Cost:
We will fully inform enquirers of the risks and hardships. We have been called to do something that is really hard. We are inviting people onto a difficult, complex journey of discipleship among the poor. We choose to embrace suffering. We won’t try to sell our path as being any easier than it is. We will respect enquirers by openly explaining the difficulties and costs, as well as the rewards, of choosing this path.
3. We will hold a realistic appraisal of our selves:
We won’t promise more than we can deliver – in terms of pastoral care, or team life, or administrative support – especially in particularly difficult locations. We will be honest and up front about struggles and failures that we have experienced as a mission, and not try to present everything as ‘successful’. We will portray a sober, realistic appraisal of ourselves.
4. We will hold other missions in high regard: We will fully inform enquirers of relevant options with other mission groups. Would this person, with their particular gifts, abilities and desires be a better fit with another mission? Would another mission with its support structures, particular charism and location be a better fit for this person? In either of these cases we should refer the person on to that other mission.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves”
I Thessalonians 2:2-5
5. We will hold to a Kingdom (not ‘Servants’) centric perspective:
We will hold and speak of other mission groups with high regard, rejoicing in their growth and success, and being happy to recruit on behalf of those other mission groups. We will rejoice in every sign of God’s Kingdom coming among the poor, more than in the growth or recognition of Servants and other mission groups.
“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Merely servants through whom you came to believe. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:3-9
6. In discipleship, Quality trumps Quantity: We will follow the ‘Gideon principle’ that it is better to have a few well prepared, well selected, ‘called’ workers than a great multitude of poorly prepared workers (see Judges 7:2-7). As an Organisation/movement, our goal is not to be big: it is to be faithful and obedient, and to fulfill our calling to be formed into disciples of Jesus among the poor and marginalised.
7. We will honour and respect host cultures, and the poor:
We won’t use emotive PR – be careful in using photos that these do not demean the people pictured by presenting them in a negative or helpless light. Where possible ask permission to take and use photos. Where not possible, we will ask ourselves (honestly) if the person in the photo would be happy to see it used this way.