For two days, the southside wing of One Challenge’s office building in Colorado Springs buzzed with chatter, laughter, passionate conversations, and a spirit of collaboration. For these two days of Futures Think Tank 2.0, 25 participants from the United States Mobilization Center, Outreach Canada, and a few remote global participants gathered to understand the current times in North America and begin to chart a path to move forward together.
Three areas of focus dominated the conversation – mobilizing the next generation of mission workers, funding, and ministry to diaspora people in Northern America (predominantly the U.S. and Canada). At the end of day two, each discussion group provided recommendations to move forward. It was clear the conversation in each group were filled with a spirit of collaboration at the heart.
Part One – Understanding the Times
In order for each discussion group to work from a place of understanding, day one was spent discussing the current state of mobilization, funding, and diaspora ministry. An expert in each area presented and discussion flowed readily, many times needing to stop the conversation to make the most of the time.
The design of the initial presentation was to take a hard look at what was working and what was falling flat. The goal being to examine the “brutal facts” in each area.
The spirit of the day could be wrapped up in a quote presented by Russ M, OC worker with the OC Global Research Team and organizer of the event, from futurist John Naisbitt: “The most reliable way to understand the future is by understanding the present.”
After an in-depth look at the current times, the group worked to project what might happen in the future, walking through positive and negative scenarios that could happen in the next decade. All the possibilities really led to the overwhelming theme of seeking the Lord.
Part Two – Knowing What to Do
Day two found each group brainstorming and documenting ideas to approach each topic with a fresh perspective. The participants used analysis methods to narrow suggestions to six for each subject – not an easy task!
During the time of reflection and sharing from each group, it was clear the discussion had been vivid and productive. Life-long learning is one of One Challenge’s guiding principles, and Futures Think Tank 2.0 highlighted that. Russ M says: “This year’s FTT 2.0 process was based on the Dialog Education model, an approach to adult education that is now OC’s preferred training approach. We were quite pleased with how this process fostered insightful discussion among the participants that led to achieving the three aims of the Futures Think Tank.”
Part Three – Moving Forward
Many ideas, concerns, and recommendations came about during the short two days of the Future Think Tank 2.0. Discussions on these issues will continue during the OC Leadership Conference in April. There is no way to predict the future, but OC is committed to seeking out the Lord for guidance and moving forward together.