Posted by: jacobgillard | August 29, 2008

NSM

NSM stands for “Network Supported Missionary”.  Michelle and I have been spending the last 6 months cobbling together a network of support that will get us to the field–and hopefully keep us there!  I’ve told you before that this is a pilot project that we’re in.  But now our mission leaders at the national level are beginning to roll it out publicly.  S you’ve heard us explain it in various ways but now you can hear how they explain it.  Both of these quotes are from the August 2008 edition of “LCMS World Mission Harvest News”.  This first blockquote is from the Rev. Dr. Bob Roegner, as found on page 2…

The task given by the Synod to LCMS World Mission is put succinctly in our “Purpose Statement,” which says: “Praying to the Lord of the Harvest, LCMS World Mission, in collaboration with its North American and worldwide partners, will share the Good News of Jesus with 100 million unreached or uncommitted people by the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.”

When the 2004 Synod convention charged us with leadership in reaching this goal, we knew that we couldn’t simply “fly by the seat of our pants.” We needed a strategic plan. While LCMS World Mission has always worked with specific strategies, the plan we now are following is more detailed and multi-faceted than ever before. In this issue of “Harvest News,” you will learn about some of the strategies by which we operate around the world.

We have a strategic emphasis for each of our four international and three national (U.S.) regions. We build relationships and reach people, for example, through human-care ministries in Africa, by reconnecting people to their Christian heritage in Eurasia, and by building the capacity of our partners in Latin America.

You will read about Korea in this issue of “Harvest News.” There, as in all of Asia, our strategic emphasis centers on education. In addition to English-language centers in China, we have such centers also in Macau, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, and Thailand. What’s more, there are more than 200 local, national, and international Lutheran schools, universities, and seminaries throughout Asia. These serve about 100,000 students daily and provide abundant opportunities to build relationships with children and families.

An especially exciting new strategy for LCMS World Mission is something we are calling the Network Supported Missionary Program.

For years, we have been able to place only a limited number of new career missionaries around the world. Our hands were tied by the budget. The NSM program holds out much hope for changing this, though, by allowing career missionaries to connect more directly with donors and to develop individual networks of support— all with staff in St. Louis providing the help they need to make this happen.

This new approach to missionary support will give us more flexibility as we become more strategic in our decision making. Our hands no longer will be tied by what may or may not be available in the budget at any one moment in time. Read more about it inside! We do not strategize for strategy’s sake.

We develop strategies so that we can be intentional and accountable in the mission task of reaching people with the Good News of Jesus. We strategize so that Ablaze! can move forward, giving 100 million more people the opportunity to know the joy that you and I have in Jesus Christ.

In His service … and yours,

The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Roegner

and this one is from the “Harvest News” writing staff, as found on page 6…

LCMS World Mission celebrates its partnership with members of the LCMS and special mission donors—a partnership that is enabling 53 new career, international education, and long-term missionaries to begin their service to the Lord in 20 countries. We trust that God will use these people, His people, in ways that are beyond what we might imagine.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod itself was formed to allow congregations “to walk together” to do things that they couldn’t easily do alone—namely training pastors and doing regional and global mission work. By design, the missionary sending process has always involved missionaries going to individuals and congregations, inviting them to join them in prayer and financial support for their important ministry of bringing the Good News to people across the globe and training others to do likewise.

While in the past few years, there has been a decrease in general support received by LCMS World Mission, we have seen a marked increase in giving toward the ministries of individual missionaries through programs like Mission Senders (individual focus) and Together in Mission (congregational focus). Through these partnering programs, we’ve learned how much LCMS members value their relationships with the families and individuals they support. The passion for God’s mission among His people is evident now more than ever.

In a response to this trend, LCMS World Mission has modified its funding and internal processes to increase its focus on intentionally connecting missionaries more directly with congregations and individuals. This new way of working—called the Network Supported Missionary (NSM) model—establishes a network of connected supporters within the LCMS and staff team and allows 100 percent of gifts designated toward a specific missionary to go towards their specific ministry costs. Mission dollars given to Fan into Flame enable missionaries to get started in building relationships with supporters and to train and prepare for their service.

In the end, the NSM model allows for an increased number of new missionaries to begin their ministry—in the United States, in international schools, and in other countries around the world. It also provides mission responders with an opportunity to be more personally connected with the missionary whom they are supporting through prayer, encouragement, and financial gifts.

Support of LCMS World Mission is also vital for the sake of deployed missionaries by providing a logistical, communication, and administrative network of support, continuing to identify and find new missionary personnel for strategic needs around the globe, and linking missionaries to international church bodies and partners. This is achieved by a dedicated staff of former missionaries and eager servants and made possible by your undesignated gifts to LCMS World Mission.

Already in this year’s first “class” of NSM missionaries, 11 career and three international educators have been able to be called for important positions. And, momentum is building for the future placement of missionaries!

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