Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Archive for May, 2010

Interview with John McVay: Mentoring for Missions

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

by Paul Nielsen

M-DAT has been good friends with mission mobilizer John McVay for ten years now. His projects have included mission conferences and websites along with his service with In His Image, which trains medical professionals for Christian service. In this interview he talks specifically about mentoring the next generation of missionaries.

Propel: When and how did you become involved and interested in missions as a mobilizer?

John McVay: I read an illustration by Ralph Winter who said, “If you see a roaring fire you can grab your bucket, run to the stream, then run to the fire and pour water on it—and you can do that repeatedly. Or you could wake 100 sleeping firemen.” Missions mobilization is waking the 100 sleeping firemen. In my current season of life God is guiding me to wake the 100 sleeping firemen.

Propel: What is the importance of mentoring in the context of missions?

John McVay: Most aspiring missionaries struggle with feelings of inadequacy. They need mentors to encourage them to abide in Christ and trust in His strength. (more…)

Mentoring for the next generation of missionaries

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

by Greg Fletcher

Many mission agencies are experiencing a decline in numbers as the attrition from retiring personnel is not offset by new members. The option of expansion simply doesn’t exist for most agencies these days. In some cases, the very survival of the agency is even at stake! Mobilizers must ask some hard questions and make course corrections in response.

There are many facets to this issue, and oversimplification is not helpful. However, there are indicators that solutions exist, and we must pay attention to them. To ignore them would be to our own peril.

Institutional Loyalty vs. Relational Loyalty
One key element to be considered is the current generation’s concept of loyalty. Loyalty has taken on a different form from that of prior generations. We must recognize that we cannot afford to “do what we’ve always done” and expect to “get what we’ve always gotten”.

To an earlier generation, the concept of loyalty related directly to institutional loyalty. If Junior became a missionary, it was assumed he would join Dad’s agency. Recent generations do not function that way. They are more interested in your identity and your capacity to engage the work than your history as an agency. (more…)

Strengthening the M-DAT leadership team

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

by David Armstrong

At the annual M-DAT Board Retreat this Spring, the staff and Board made some significant changes in M-DAT’s leadership roles to better facilitate continuing growth in our services and better match our team member’s skills and gifts with needs in the office.

Some key responsibilities were shuffled and the organization is moving to a three person leadership team composed of an Executive Director, a Director of Program Services and a Director of Operations.

Our previous executive director, who has ably led M-DAT for its first 10 years, has assumed the role of Program Services Director to focus his energies and skills on the ongoing development of our web based missions training and preparation services.

The legal, financial and overall administrative tasks for the organization will now be covered by the Director of Operations. David Armstrong has moved into that role. Amanda Snodgrass has assumed the position of Service Manager and will be helping the many organizations who use to make known the opportunities they offer.

And lastly, we are now looking for a new Executive Director. Pray for our Board as they define the unique job description for this position and then find and interview candidates. We would appreciate your prayers as we wait on God to provide the right person for the new role. Also pray for the team as a whole as we adjust to these transitions.

As always we remain committed to helping people take their next step in missions involvement.

Resource Highlight: A call for mentors

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Do you think you have what it takes to mentor aspiring missionaries? Jeff Goins is putting some of his time and energy into matching people who want to mentor with people who want to help missionaries tell their stories in compelling ways. If you believe you can help writers, photographers, graphic designers and so forth excel at their craft in order to bring the stories of God’s faithfulness on the mission field back home, learn more by going to Goins’ Pilgrimage of the Heart blog.

M-DAT news and prayer

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Prayer: Pray that God would provide a new Executive Director for our Leadership Team. And pray for the M-DAT team as we adjust to the modified and enlarged roles.

Prayer: Pray for us as we are in discussions about a partnering arrangement with another website to provide broader coverage for the many great mission trips posted on There are a lot of details to be considered.

Praise: Praise the Lord for a college student and recent graduate who are inquiring about helping develop content for our web sites as volunteers.

Praise: Praise for a great time of interaction at our March Annual Board Retreat. We have a terrific Board which provides helpful perspectives.

Praise: We were greatly encouraged to see the number of people looking for mission trips go back up this Spring after a plateauing of interest last Spring.

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