International (MNN) — As ministries of God progress and adjust to a changing world, new leaders are often asked to step up while others move on to new ground. The Mission Society will be welcoming a new president in the near future.
Current Board of Directors member, Max Wilkins, has been asked to become the new president. He has served with the ministry since 2010. “I love the mission of The Mission Society which is to join Jesus in His mission of reaching, especially, the least-reached peoples of the earth. The Mission Society has demonstrated, over 30 years, an ability to do that in very creative and entrepreneurial ways,” Wilkins says. “It’s really exciting to come on board and be a part of trying to continue that legacy of faithfulness, and I just couldn’t be happier about it.”
The transition is not immediate, however, and preparations for a smooth change are being made. Wilkins explains: “I’m still pastoring a church in Gainesville, Florida, and so that transition will take place over the next couple of months as I wind up my ministry here and try to remain faithfully engaged in what I’m doing in the local church through Easter.”
God has provided a great team of people to help The Mission Society as they work to prepare Wilkins for his new responsibilities. “Working with a transition team and with the current president, Dick McClain, who’s done an outstanding job and is a personal mentor for me, I’m going to be simultaneously getting up to speed on everything that’s going on around the world with The Mission Society.” Wilkins will soon be meeting with the leadership team to look at what God wants to do with the mission in the future.
It is obvious that Wilkins is cut out for the job, and his excitement is evident: “My wife and I have been passionate about the global mission for the full thirty years of my ministry. I just simply believe that mission is the reason the church exists. We’ve engaged from the very beginning with cross cultural witnesses who’ve been a part of what the Mission Society is doing. And it’s just such an awesome thing to be able to have an opportunity to work with this fantastic staff and the cross-cultural witnesses around the world.”
Despite the excitement, Wilkins still feels a bit of anxiety. He is humbled by the responsibilities and the trust being placed on him. He does not want to let The Mission Society–and especially God–down. He asks for prayer for a faithful and fruitful leadership.
Along with the people God has placed in his life to aid in the new position, Wilkins has been provided with some helpful skills. “Spiritual gifts in a person’s life are a true blessing and just a part of the grace of God; each one of us has different spiritual gifts. I’ve been blessed by God to be given the gift as a communicator. I think that’s going to help make it possible for me to be a public face of The Mission Society, linking what The Mission Society is doing with the will of God and sharing that hopefully in ways that are anointed by the Lord so that it’s compelling for people.”
Communication, while extremely important for a president of any ministry, is made even stronger coupled with the other gift Wilkins recognizes from God: faith.
“God chose to bless me with the gift of faith many years ago. I just trust God very deeply and believe God for God-sized things. I look forward to how that which has played a deep role in my life up to this point is going to meld with what Mission Society is doing to bring a deep faith component to our work around the world.”
God’s providence is encouraging. Yet there remain some challenges as with any work for the Gospel. One of these challenges is the need for revenue to keep working. “The Mission Society is blessed with tremendous partners who have been faithful over the years, and I expect that will continue and hopefully grow,” Wilkins says. “But I think all agencies like The Mission Society are facing that challenge. The economy’s been rough, and culture is changing; it’s becoming increasingly difficult.”
This shift in culture ripples out around the world. One of the focuses of The Mission Society is going to move beyond the current workers of the field. Wilkins says, “The Mission Society’s mission is to mobilize and deploy the Body of Christ to join Jesus in His mission. One of things that’s clear is that the entire missionary force in the world right now is not sufficient to accomplish the task. We need to mobilize the whole church.”