At one time or another we have all heard people suggest their goal in ministry is to work themselves out of a job. That sounds noble enough and is most often spoken with sincere motives. But it is rarely as easy as it seems and there are special challenges for cross cultural workers because success has its own set of problems.
As cross cultural servants work themselves out of a job they simultaneously rewrite the narrative explaining how they create, deliver and capture value for the Great Commission. In this month’s vlog Steve Moore shares how this natural and healthy transition from direct to indirect to secondary indirect ministry roles changes the value creation story and pressures mission structures to embrace business model innovation. Some Christian leaders resist the idea they have a business model at all. But a business is simply your value creation narrative. Saying you don’t have a business model is the same as saying, “We don’t create value for anyone.”
This changing narrative has both increased the need to redeploy workers and made it more difficult to accomplish successfully. Pressed by the organizational inertia of the old narrative leaders are tempted to keep workers in places where they are no longer needed or lower the standards of performance in new roles. The changing narrative has made it harder to communicate effectively with stakeholders and more difficult to sustain the consistent revenue needed to drive the operational infrastructure of mission sending structures. Navigating this transition requires a new set of competencies in which few leaders have any training or experience.
And yet in all of this we see the finger prints of God, as He presses forward in the promise to bless all the peoples of the earth.