GRTS Symposium’s missions assessment talk could help ministry

By January 26, 2007

USA (MNN) — Cornerstone University's Grand Rapids
Theological Seminary was where more than 100 mission leaders and pastors joined
together for what they called, "The Global Learning Center's Symposium on
'Counting Sheep.'  The second annual
event asked the question, 'how do you measure missions efforts in the 21st
century.

Director of the GLC, David Livermoore says counting the
number of conversions isn't enough. "It's got to be connected with (the
question) is there transformation in their life? Is there transformation in the
community in which they're a part. The second piece was in saying culture is a
part of how we assess, but that doesn't mean we don't have something to gain
from hearing someone from a very different culture perspective."

The General Director of SEND International is taking
information back to his organization. He says this will help SEND, "In
trying to become better, more effective, in connecting the local church with
the missionary they're support, or the missionary that they're sending."

Janzen believes many missionaries are looking at unique ways to communicate
their work to churches and supporters to get the funding they need, rather than
on programs the are effectively helping the communities in which they're
serving.

While assessment was the focus, Livermoore, says mission
leaders are ready to make a change in the way evangelism is done. "A
number of people from very strong existing missions organizations and church
are actually calling for whole new paradigm of mission in the 21st century that
gets rid of some of the tired phases of, 'we're the sending field and they're
the mission field.  And, so my hope is
we'd at least be a part of taking that conversation forward."

Livermoore hopes to release results of the symposium in the
days ahead.

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