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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Project Airport - WELS - More Church Growth - Prepare For More Nosedives




BHM: Project Airport


Our mission counselors and cross-cultural consultant planned Project Airport to assist our District Mission Boards to better serve their missions. Part of the reason for inviting every DMB member to attend was that many new men have been elected to their position who were not present for the original training (back in the previous century) in the Barnabas Project, a very useful and helpful tool for shepherds.

The airport theme was chosen because of so many parallels between equipping, supporting, maintaining and making improvements in airline service and in our service to our missions and missionaries.

As we planned, we began to realize the benefit of bringing together in one place (actually, two places: Denver and Chicago) not just DMB members, but also all those who are or can be involved in assisting our missions, missionaries, and congregations who have the potential to start new mission ministries. So we invited District Presidents, Synodical Council (SC) district representatives, the Board for Parish Services (BPS) Administrator, Commission on Adult Discipleship (CAD), Commission on Evangelism (CoE) and WELS Kingdom Workers (WKW) to attend. We really appreciated the gracious response to our invitations. All told, our WELS VP, 6 district presidents, our BPS Administrator, 4 SC men, 5 CAD, 12 CoE, and 64 DMB members attended the workshops. It was a well-rounded group that actively participated in the breakouts and seemed to appreciate the opportunity to grow and work together for the sake of our Lord Jesus and his kingdom.

Throughout both gatherings, we were enriched and uplifted with consistently inspiring devotions from the word of our God. The analogies to airplanes and airports were many, creative, and seemed exceedingly appropriate to our church as we followed the themes of “Trusting God’s outreach promises” (Cares), “Sometimes it’s hard to get off the ground” (Westra, Gauger), “It takes a lot of people for an airplane to fly”(Hagedorn), “The value of regular maintenance” (Geiger, Fisher), and “Working with God to set missions free to fly”(Birkholz). The singing was wonderful, both with and without accompaniment.

Pastor Hagedorn kept the fast-paced conference on its rather tight schedule. Ten different presenters led the workshops. The airport/airplane analogies continued. The workshops were presented according to five consecutive categories, each one building on the previous one:
• Outreach Orientation (awareness-possibilities upon taking off)
• Outreach Orientation (development/foundation—getting plane ready to fly)
• Awareness of our Culture and Community (aware of fellow passengers)
• Partnership and Connections (co-workers needed in order to fly)
• One on One Impact Training (pilot and crew)

Awareness

MC Schulz took off with quite a list of God’s grace at work among us through the many and varied examples of new mission starts and ministries associated with home missions and NA Outreach. CAD Administrator Kehl reviewed NAO with us and then led a breakout session encouraging us to consider ways to broaden its impact. You will notice the enthusiastic responses which were posted on newsprint around the conference room.
Foundation

Cross Cultural Consultant Kehl then led us in a lively session and breakout focused on the spiritual foundations which lead individuals and churches to be outreach oriented.

Culture
MC Schulz brought us into the 21st century culture, helping us to understand our world and giving us some great questions for us to consider as we work to share the news of Jesus with those who think differently than we (possible new passengers on our plane). Hispanic Consultant Roth helped us get into the shoes of today’s immigrants with a card game that got everyone confused, and Hmong Coordinator Piepenbrink helped us realize an Asian perspective on our BHM guiding principles for cross cultural ministries.

Partnership and Connections

CoE Administrator Hintz helped us realize the value of a good ground crew as he outlined a model outreach-minded congregation. Pastors Roth and Piepenbrink outlined their services. Pastor Warnecke from WKW's touched on the many ways they are available to serve our mission fields. MC Schulz offered a look at some of the new and innovative ways in which mission ministries are starting these days. We then were broken out into small groups to consider how and where each of our districts might start new ministries. After that, Mel explained how we can get money for all this, if there’s any available.

One on One Training

With the big picture concerning “flight plans” established the previous day, Tuesday helped us focus our attention on the “crew”: our missionaries and leaders. MC Schulz and John Tappe took us on an excellent guided tour of the Barnabas program, showing us how they use its many tools to encourage and assist the men on the front lines and how there is more than enough material on its pages to help every DMB member become a more able and helpful shepherd to those they serve. It should be mentioned that the two men had recently reviewed, edited, and updated the Barnabas manual.

MC Schuppe offered some useful helps on mentoring, gleaned from his personal experience and study, and MC Huebner led us through some coaching approaches (with assistance from Mrs. Christy Geiger’s materials) which seem to be bringing blessings to many. Districts were then asked to work together to decide on which kind of approach (shepherd/mentor/coach) or combination of approaches they might use to best serve their missions/missionaries.

Where, from here?

We noticed throughout the day and a half there was little of the “in and out” traffic and sidebar conversations one sometimes witnesses at conferences as attendees sometimes seem to be wishing they were elsewhere. We give our God thanks for the high level of the quality of the presentations and devotions and the attendees’ enthusiastic participation in breakouts and small groups. The blessings of district coworkers (evangelism, CAD, DMB, etc.) learning, thinking, and planning together seemed apparent. We heard desires expressed for more of this kind of thing.

We are today making all the tools, breakout group responses, information, devotions and PowerPoint presentations from Project Airport (including the newly updated Barnabas Project) available to the BHM members on a CD.

We trust that the information was and is helpful and encouraging to all who attended. It sometimes happens that one attends this kind of workshop, is exposed to some things, but then goes home and becomes so busy again that the notebook sits on the shelf.

Our expectation is that there are those who put what they learned to good use right away when they arrived home. We need to continue to find new ways to encourage our sister churches to seek to start new mission ministries. The tools we’ve just been given are invaluable for that purpose.

We also trust that the sights of every DMB were raised. We can continue to grow as shepherds, using the Barnabas Project materials. Perhaps some are choosing or will choose a mentoring or coaching approach. We are right now looking for those with whom we could work together on pilot projects, intentionally making use of the shepherding/mentoring/coaching approach. We will figure out a way to prioritize it in our schedules so we can work alongside you (if you should so desire). Just let us know.

May God continue to bless the after-effects (jetwash?) of Project Airport!


MC’s Schulz, Schuppe, and Huebner and CCC Kehl


Close all Open All
Additional Information
Rev 2:3,4 Sometimes it's hard to get off the ground
The Twelve Foundations Of A Healthy Church
Toward a Maturing Congregation-Discussion
Outreach Orientation - Awareness
New Outreach Approaches
North American Outreach Stories
Outreach Orientation - Development
Maturing Congregation Presentation
Maturing Congregation workbook answers
Maturing Congregation workbook pages
Maturity-Assessing church health
Maturity-Assessing healthy church
Maturity-Assessing need for change
Maturity-SADMB analysis
NAO Outreach Awareness Presentation
NAO Phase Three Resources
NAO Presentation discussion
NAO Workbook pages
NAO-An Overview
New Outreach Approaches
Outreach Assessment-CP-Supplement-4
Outreach Assessment-MAP-Supplement-3
Outreach Awareness wookbook pages
Outreach in Today's Culture
Toward a Maturing Congregation-Discussion
Awareness of our Culture and Community
Guiding Principles of Cross-Cultural Ministries
Outreach in Today's Culture
Partnership and Connections
An Interview With A Neighbor
BHM Assistance
Card Game Teaching Points
Cristo Palabra de Vida flyer
Entrevista Con Un Vecino
Hispanic Culture
Immigration Summary
MC2 Guiding Principles
Model Congregational Evangelism Program-Outline
Model Congregational Evangelism Program
WELS Kingdom Workers
One on One Impact Training
Coaching Guidelines
Coaching-answer guide
Mentoring Guidelines
One Approach to Mentoring
The Barnabas Plan
Devotions and Other Materials
1 TH 3:2 The Value of Regular Maintenance
IS 40:29-31 Working with God to set missions free to fly!
IS 60:8-9 Designed to Fly with the Gospel
Rev 2:3,4 Sometimes it's hard to get off the ground
Sometimes it's hard to get off the ground
The Twelve Foundations Of A Healthy Church
The Value of Regular Maintenance
Trust in God's Outreach Promises