Mobilization may have a lot of meanings in different scenarios, but to Jeff, One Challenge’s Director of Mobilization, it means asking people to follow in steps of obedience to God, which could come at a great personal cost. “It’s not just leaving family, raising money and adopting a new culture which are hard things to ask of someone, but asking them to lay down your life on the altar for the kingdom,” Jeff says.
Jeff and his team spend their time listening to dreams and sharing advice with people from all walks of life … whether they are looking for a long-term commitment to service overseas or looking for the fulfillment of a college internship requirement. Jeff feels the spiritual weight of each conversation. “I am realizing that at times in my life the Holy Spirit chooses to speak through me to these potential workers. I do not take that lightly. Being part of life-changing decisions is both exciting and scary, so I pray for the right words when I am talking with people. It’s incredibly humbling to be used in that way.”
Connecting with Potential Workers
Since Mobilization is based on relationships, how do those relationships begin?
Jeff and his team travel to schools, churches, conferences and people’s homes to have face-to-face conversations on how the Lord is directing their steps.
They also spend a lot of time responding to someone who initiates something with OC via email, the website, or a referral. “Increasing our e-visibility is a goal,” says Jeff. “It’s mostly free, and it’s a place where a large number of emerging workers spend their time. It is a way for us to connect with them.” On any given day the Mobilization department can be tracking 30-60 people through regular communication and prayer.
Finding the Right Fit
“We receive lots of inquiries and our job is to filter them to make sure only those who really fit with OC go on to the interview and acceptance process,” says Jeff. Finding the right fit is important for both the agency and the candidate.
The Mobilization team’s approach with contacts is to learn what their skills and passions are and to match those with opportunities within OC or, if necessary, helping them find options in another organization if the fit there is better. “Fit with an agency rests on three things… First, do they agree with the vision of the agency, what it’s trying to accomplish for the kingdom? Second, do they share the same heart as the agency, resonating with their values and doctrine? And finally, do they see themselves fitting into the strategy the agency uses to accomplish its vision?” Jeff says.
Education and Preparation
“People often come to us with very little experience so we need to help them understand what life as a worker is like – adjusting expectations, dreams versus reality,” Jeff says. Education is a sidebar to Mobilization. “What we find as we get to know and start to build relationships with people is that many of their expectations about what the mission project is like are often romanticized.”
In Jeff’s experience, some people think they can get on an airplane, arriving in their country of service in just a matter of months and, when they get there, jump right into ministry and have instant impact. This is rarely the reality. Helping interested candidates appreciate the necessary preparation processes is part of the education piece. Gearing up for living and working overseas takes time, often a year or two.
Another piece of education Jeff and his team focus on is helping people debunk myths around fund raising. Jeff encourages potential candidates that, although finding financial ministry partners can be daunting, it’s a growth process in faith for the worker and a time for the Lord to show his hand in their journey in a tangible, powerful way.
The Mobilization Department, as part of One Challenge, strives to grow in its ability to help people on their journey of obedience to God’s leading. They hope to do this through:
- Placing regional representatives in strategic locations in the country to respond to the increasing desire of the millennial generation to get involved in kingdom work.
- Putting a bigger emphasis on social media and networking to increase our e-presence and name recognition.
- Increasing partnerships with missionary training organizations, like Launch Global (www.launchglobal.org), to provide entry level, cross-cultural positions.
- Being present at more schools, more conferences and more churches across the country sharing our passion for completing the task.
How You Can Partner with the Mobilization Department
- Pray Luke 10:2, asking God to mobilize more harvesters!
- The department sees great value in purchasing a candidate tracking program. They have one targeted but it has a $50K price tag. Pray that God will provide the necessary funding. You may give toward this need if God so directs.
- Put on your “kingdom growth” glasses. Think through your people network. If you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved cross-culturally? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org