Later this month, One Challenge will see the culmination of a stretching and greatly needed major piece of work to position OC for the future beyond COVID. OC invites you to pray for the One Challenge U.S. 2021 Learning Conference, scheduled to take place April 19-24.
Although the official conference will only be one week, OC envisions this as a 2 Timothy 2:2 experience. These 70 leaders participating will take it back to their OC teams and pass it along. This will equip everyone to lean into God for the future and then to see it live in a third generation as our people teach these principles to local and national indigenous leaders. Celebratory, resilient, and rested, these leaders will be ready to lead through change into God’s intended outcomes!
From Postponement to Opportunity
In the spring of last year, the planned OC Leadership Conference (which was to gather over 100 people from around the world for a strategic planning meeting) had to be postponed due to COVID. All our lives came to an abrupt stop, and OC, like many others, began learning how to adapt to an online platform and adjust ministry to fit immediate needs.
Although an initial disappointment, the postponement was a gift! If OC had met and developed its next strategic plan, it would have all been for nothing since the virus has upended so much in our world today. One year later, OC is still not in position to plan strategically – planning is unwise, if not impossible, under crisis.
But there remains a critical need to gather this month: not for planning, but for learning. As with so many, 2020 was a year where OC’s global workers quickly learned and pivoted to carry on their ministries while under a pandemic.
“I’ve dubbed last year’s learning scramble learning, where we all adjusted to life, family, and work in new ways: new tactics, new technologies, new skills, and more,” says David, OC Vice President of Global Ministries. “But someday, the pandemic will come to closure, and we’ll all face the need for something more important: strategic learning.”
Strategic Learning for a Post-COVID World
Yes, strategic learning. In other words, what should OC personnel be learning now so that we can best be positioned to join God in his global efforts once we’re past COVID? We won’t go back to a pre-COVID world, but thankfully this season will not last forever. Where will we be going next?
“This month’s conference is all about preparing our people, and our mission agency, for a post-COVID world,” David says. “We’re going to spend days learning – from one another – about vital issues: leading through change, ministry focused on outcomes (not activities), building and maintaining resilience, adaptable planning models, and more. We’ll also attend to the care needs of our organizational leaders, who’ve been through a lot in the last year.”
A Global, Virtual Conference
As if these topics weren’t enough of a challenge, OC is trying something we’ve never done before: a global, virtual conference, bringing together our workers from many time zones for interaction and learning over five days. “As we’re preparing, every planning conversation is a stretching exercise. We’re in way over our heads with this,” David says.
But this is exactly why OC needs you and your prayers. “We know this is what the Lord has for us, so that we’re positioned to join him into a post-COVID future. We couldn’t be more excited about our direction,” David says. “As with anything of great significance, we need God to show up, and therefore, we need your prayer. Please join us in anticipation of a challenging, exciting week!”
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray that everyone masters the technology needed to connect, collaborate, and communicate throughout the week. We all face a learning curve as we utilize this new medium.
- Several dozen people will be engaged either as small group facilitators or presenters during our “all together” sessions. Pray that God would accomplish more through them than we hope for.
- And pray that all 70 participants would be encouraged, renewed, prepared for the future God is leading us in to.
One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We are committed to the equipping of leaders, inside and outside the church, with kingdom principles allowing them to move entire people groups toward transformation, hope and justice. Those leaders in turn can mentor others, and together we all bring God’s transformation to lives, communities, and nations.