"Monterrey is ready for a vocational intern program with Fellows and City to City Latin America as key partners." This statement sums up the topic of discussion pictured below between Jud Lamos and Morna Comeau in Monterrey, Mexico this last December.
Jud sponsored a conference to introduce vocational ministry internships to key church and business leaders in Monterrey, Mexico in early December. The Fellows International and City to City Latin America were co-presenters.
Starting on Friday, December 9, about 35 church leaders from four different denominations met at the Church Planting Institute in Monterrey. They listened attentively to The Fellows International leaders present the vision and values they feel are needed for a successful residential, vocational internship that is sponsored by the local church. For many of the church leaders the presentation was exactly what they wanted to hear.
Focusing on the local church and the city "ecosystem" the overall theme was taken from Proverbs 11:10 -- "When the righteous prosper the city rejoices." This theme was repeated again on the next when business leaders met at a large conference room at the Holiday Inn in one of the up and coming business districts of Monterrey. It was pointed, given the venue, that the President of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels had a son who had been a Fellow recently.
Again many leaders, this time from the business community, attested to the fact that Monterrey was ready for a intern program that would focus on the values of integrity, professional development, spiritual maturity, community values and a heart for the needy within the city. A few of the business leaders were Evangelical Christians but most were not. It was wonderful to hear their commitment to Fellows regardless of their background or religious affiliation.
After the business conference ended, key missions leaders joined us from SAM and Serge. Along with Church Planting Institute, the Fellows and the City to City leaders, a strategy session for next steps was held. A general agreement was developed for moving forward in an exploratory way but I believe that the Fellows internship in Monterrey will become a reality within the next two years. Much work needs to be done for that to happen. Please pray with us for this project.
Jud Lamos, February 8, 2017
To view a preliminary rough cut of a promotional video for the Monterrey Fellows program click on the button below.
To read an article in By Faith about the Fellows Internship in Greenville, SC click on the button below.
For more information on The Fellows Initiative click on the button below.
Transitions, changes in Jan's ministry to women
Ten years ago Jan started what became an important and effective ministry to women working in difficult assignments under MTW. She started with a handful of women and built up her network until it linked over 60 women around the globe in something she called CABLE groups. The acronym stood for Caring Allies Bonded with Love and Entreaties.
Regional groups of 8 to 12 women would communicate on a monthly basis. First, according to Jan, most of the communication was related to simple friendship. But as the women begin to know one another better deeper and more meaningful relationships developed -- to the point that the ministry really became f peer-to-peer mentoring network.
Twice during the last ten years Jan has sponsored a international conference for that network in the UK. Several other times the network met while attending MTW regional retreats -- developing their own on-site agenda just for women in ministry.
Now Jan has officially stepped down from her leadership of that ministry ministry as of December 2016. It was bittersweet — bitter, perhaps, because she has been so committed to this ministry for so long. Sweet because on one hand other women from Enterprise will take up the torch, and on the other hand Jan will expand her ministry globally in the future.
What will that look like, you might ask? We will have to wait and see. Jan is embracing wise counsel and asking many questions of key women’s leaders in her various global networks. Listening is the skill Jan utilized to begin her women’s ministry in Enterprise and she wants to employ that same skill now.
Pray for Jan and her new endeavors.
Jud Lamos, February 8, 2017
Bangkok is a leading business center in Southeast Asia --leadership assessment, training and network building will be key priorities in March 2017
Last year I went to Cape Town, South Africa to help assess and train young MTW leaders. This year I'll be doing something similar in Bangkok, Thailand. The added benefit of doing training there is that we have some vocational ministry contacts that are already associated with the MTW team in Bangkok. Meeting them will allow for further development of our vocational ministry network in Southeast Asia. It is also a potential site for Fellows development. Pray that the trip goes well and that our network is expanded in this strategic area.
Jud Lamos, February 8, 2017
Jan mentors a missionary candidate at Cross-cultual Ministry Internship training in Belgium. She and her husband were headed to Australia on a work visa related to landscape architecture.
Vocational Ministry Partner Development -- what are we learning about new models of missions deployment?
Missions is changing. That's not new. What's new is the complexity that surrounds change management. That is due in large part to the global nature of missions.
The president of Missio Nexus, Stephen Moore, said in an interview with CT in 2013:
". . . change is no longer the biggest challenge of [missions] leadership; it is the complexity in which change management occurs. Creativity is the most important leadership competency for those responsible for leading a [mission] organization in an increasingly complex world."
I teach a global trends seminars for Leadership in an Interconnected Word training series offered by our Global Training and Development department at Mission to the World. In connection with the global trends training I also do a seminar on innovation. Mission agencies today need to be deeply invested in innovation and fully cognizant of how global trends can either assist or hinder gospel expansion.
One very important trend is the reluctance of the emerging generation demographic in regards to traditional missions deployment. When I say emerging generation, I am using a term that goes beyond the designation that many use for millennials. Young adults in the 18-35 year old age group are increasingly hesitant to follow a traditional path into missions.
They are just as motivated by the gospel to "go global." But they want to go with their vocations intact. Support raising is not on their radar screen nor is it likely to pop up there because someone challenges them to respond to the Great Commission. If they respond, and many would and some do, it is to the idea that they could use their vocation overseas to further the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Even if they did consider support raising there are indications that the same dynamic -- worldview changes in the emerging generation -- would make it harder and harder for them to raise support. In 2016 the Southern Baptist's International Mission Board laid off over 1000 missionaries and staff. The reason that was given was a 210 million dollar overspend of budget in the last five years.
While there are a number of reasons for the lay offs at IMB the fact that they have reduced their missions force steadily since a high of 5600 in 2009 to a present number around 3800 is data than needs careful review. Missions is changing. The church needs creativity and innovation to respond to trends that are causing major shifts in strategic deployment of its missions force.
One thing I do know is that vocational missions has a strategic part to play in restoring depleting or stagnant numbers that are being seen in missions recruiting efforts. How big a part is yet to be seen.
From my point of view, in talking to pastors, lay leaders, church members and particularly young people who are weighing a call to missions -- working overseas full time while doing ministry part time -- or working part time while doing ministry full time -- is an increasingly attractive model.
In talking to missionaries on the field, I have learned that many would welcome colleagues who hold full-time or part-time jobs but are active members of church plants where previously only traditional missionaries have been present as expats. A video that I hosted on our sister website, 18.26network.com, a young lady from the US talks about using fashion design to reach people for Christ in Uganda.
This amazing short testimony to the validity of vocational ministry has, with very little fanfare, been viewed over 1770 times on Facebook and a similar number of times on the 18.26 website itself. People are contacting from around the globe with interest in becoming involved in vocational ministry.
Our next step is to create a network of vocational ministry practitioners and want-to-be practitioners. Our sister website should be a help as we start to develop models of recruitment, training, deployment and service for the vocational ministry global community.
We are learning that we need to be creative in managing complexity -- and that we have much more to learn.
Jud Lamos, February 8, 2017
News about our news?
In early December 2016 we sent out our first digital newsletter. The service we use also provides the website platform for judandjannews.com -- the site you're on right now as a matter of fact.
Linking articles that are briefly featured in our eLetter allows us to provide greater insight and more information here. Our first letter went out to 349 email addresses that we had collected over the years from donors, supporters, friends and family. We weren't sure they were all current addresses and in fact they weren't. Only 305 emails were actually received by people on our list.
Of that group 67% opened the email link and read our letter. Now you might think that would be a little discouraging. It's not! It turns out that people who provide eLetter services keep very good track of how they are used. The average open rate over all eLetter services in the non-profit sector is 24.9%.
There are only three other categories that exceed that level of open rate: sports, government and hobbies. Hobbies is the highest average at 28.4%. One extrapolation from those figures is that our readership is two-and-a-half more times interested in reading our news online than most people show interest in pursuing their hobbies online. That is encouraging news to us.
A second benefit is something like a "bounce" effect. Not only did 67% of you open our eLetter but nearly a third of you visited the links on our web site, more than once, to learn more. That's called a "click" rate in eLetter parlance. What's the average click rate for non-profit eLetters across various services? It is only 2.76% versus our rate of 27%.
What that means to us is that providing you with digital news is a very worthwhile investment. Right now we are refining our list so that there aren't a lot of undeliverable emails. We would like to add a lot more of our "snail mail" readers to our eLetter list. Why? Because postage is increasingly expensive. Space-wise an 8.5x11 sheet of paper, front and back, can only provide limited information, and with this article --as you can see below -- you can post a comment. Try that with our snail mail newsletter!
If you are reading this news blurb in a post and you want to sign up for our eLetter simply go to http://www.judandjannews.com/newsletter.html and sign up on our form that is posted there.
Thanks for your interest, your prayers and your support!
P.S.: for more info (if you want it) on eLetter stats you can click the button below and visit MailChimps statistical review.
Jud Lamos, February 8, 2017
Below: Luis Gallardo talks about Fellow's opportunities for a promotional video. Luis has over 2000 friends on Facebook that will see, and repost, the video to their friends.
The role of social media in vocational ministry --
According to a recent article by the American Press Institute 88% of millennials get their news from Facebook. Read the article here at:
Because emerging generations use social media almost exclusively, most organizations now create their news or promotional materials in two forms: traditional print, broadcast and ad-based marketing -- or -- in Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, etc. "feeds."
Email campaigns are also important but are often linked to social media through special websites designed to bridge the email campaign and social media sites. The importance of good content that captures readers imaginations is still preeminently important, but the delivery of that content has changed dramatically.
How does this effect the emerging generations interest in vocational ministry? On the one hand there is no large mission organization to help you tell your story in print. On the other hand, there doesn't need to be. A couple of posts a week, a video shot with a mobile phone once an while, and texting is really all you need for your base of key supporters -- other millennials!
The 18.26 Network has examples of videos posted to Facebook for vocational ministry development. You can see them here:
Jud Lamos, February 8, 2017
Jud and Jan Lamos have been in global ministry for over 40 years -- not combined years -- but 40 sequential years together. They have lived in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas and now travel extensively to globalize Mission to the World's vision, values and goals. These blogs add special insight into their lives of service.