On April 10 Jud Lamos, and his colleague Carl Chaplin, submitted a business/ministry plan for a new missionary deployment model to the Senior Strategy Team at Mission to the World (MTW). Jud and Jan have worked for MTW since 1990. That is not going to change -- Jud and Jan will remain under MTW as they work with Carl, and others in MTW, to develop this new deployment model.
The name of the new deployment entity that is being created is the 18.26 Network. In Acts 18:26 Luke writes about Aquila and Priscilla -- a cross-cultural ministry couple who went with the Apostle Paul to Ephesus. When Paul left, they stayed behind and worked in active lay ministry -- they were tent makers -- even using their knowledge of God to correct Apollos concerning his faulty understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit.
The goal of the 18.26 Network is to recruit, train, deploy and serve men and women like Aquila and Priscilla. We are currently putting together a ministry Board of Directors, an MTW field advisory council and an MTW office advisory council to help us develop this new model.
Jud and Carl make a verbal report to the Senior Strategy Team on May 11. We are asking for three years of funding for an office management for the 18.26 Network as well as legal fees and office set up expenses. Please pray with us that this will be the start of something that God can use to build his kingdom in a new and creative way.
In March Jud traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to participate in leadership assessment and training for MTW's Global Training and Development department. He participated in assessing two leadership couples (six were assessed in all) and leading the Situational Leadership and Problem Solving training seminars. About 35 potential and current leaders from the Asia/Pacific region attended the training conference.
Jud also had an opportunity to talk to current leaders about vocational ministry opportunities and the Fellows Initiative. Jim Jung, pictured above, is a MTW team leader in Sydney, Australia. He is very interested in vocational ministry for potential colleagues in Sydney.
Leaders from Japan also showed interest in developing a Fellows-like vocational ministry internship in Tokyo. A center city church in Tokyo, connected with City to City out of Manhatten, has a large number of business executives in their congregation. Church leaders think that the vocational ministry internship would encourage young Japanese with global business perspective to become a new kind of missionary from Japan to other global cities around the world.
Finally, Jud was exposed to a network of business people in Bangkok that are looking for employees from the US. One company in particular, FLEX, develops Asian young people for university acceptance in the US. Jud was told of four openings at FLEX for American employees who have the counseling and development skills to work in this kind of business.
Mission to the World held a Business as Mission (BAM) conference in Athens, Greece in late April. While the focus of the speakers was BAM -- a lot of the attendees were interested in vocational ministry. What's the difference?
Business as Mission has been more narrowly defined in recent years as entrepreneurial business start-up or entrepreneurial business start-up training in countries where BAM can be used to start local businesses with Christian values. Vocational ministry has been used as a term more lately to describe one's living out one's Christian values in the workplace -- whether or not a new business is developed though entrepreneurial efforts.
Both can be seen as a kind of tent-making activity -- but that too has come to be more narrowly defined as some one who engages in some secular work in order to support their full-time, non-secular ministry (think of the difference between the Apostle Paul who engaged in "tent-making" to enhance his ministry and Aquila and Priscilla who made tents for a living -- which in fact became their ministry.)
Kelsey Wiggs video on vocational ministry was reviewed by attendees (see the post on the Kelsey Wiggs Facebook video on this site). David Veldhorst, an MTW recruiter, reported that over the last three months he has seen more and more interest by professionals regarding opportunities to use their vocational skills in multinational or national corporations, companies and agencies globally.
Jud gave a report on creating a new ministry deployment platform -- The 18.26 Network -- as a way to deploy men and women in ministry overseas where their primary source of income is their "secular" work. A great deal of discussion followed Jud's report, centering around how we can better create services that would support the ministry of these professional men and women.
The next step for the 18.26 Network would be to create a field advisory council for the development of these services and a plan for integrating vocational ministry into church-planting and team strategies.
"Come and See" In Brussels/Gent -- an introduction to The Fellows Intuitive for European church leaders
In April Jud sponsored a mini-Come and See conference in Brussels and Gent, Belgium. Fellows Initiative (TFI) leaders presented key values and vision for vocational ministry internships.
There are presently 27 TFI Fellows sites in the U.S. and one is being developed in Monterrey, Mexico. We are working closely with two Monterrey churches to help develop their internships and this has now resulted in two churches in Belgium showing interest in developing vocational ministry training in Europe.
International and US Fellows sites will provide a trained and motivated "volunteer army" of prospective global vocational ministry participants. We see this as one arm of 18.26 Network development.
This year a beta test of Fellows will begin in Monterrey. We will hire a interim director (Fernando Garza -- pictured above), form a local board of directors, recruit one to three interns and begin training church leaders.
Within two years we would like to be at the same stage in Brussels and Gent. We are presently looking for an interim director. Church leaders in Belgium will also begin a planning process to train local church members in vocational ministry prior to recruiting interns.
Shortly after the Come and See conference in Brussels/Gent the National Fellows Conference in the US was held in Washington, DC. Fernando and Jud attended that conference as well. As a result of our meetings, a number of US Fellows directors have offered to help with the start-up in Monterrey.
Jan will be speaking at a women's conference in Northern New York in May. Her theme is Songs for the Journey. She will focus on Psalm 46 and Psalm 84 -- and two hymns based on those Psalms: A Mighty Fortress is Our God by Martin Luther and Children of the Heavenly Father by Carolina Sandell. The themes will build on Jan's personal experiences working in the Middle East and Europe over the last 20 years.
You may be asking yourself what the word "phigital" means. It is a term I first ran into reading the book -- Gen Z at Work -- by David and Jonah Stallman. I would define phigital as "kind-of physically present in a digital way." Carolyn Morris (pictured on the left) will be an intern for the 18.26 Network this summer. She will be a junior at Auburn University this coming year and is heavily involved in the International Justice Ministry. Carolyn will be doing research on missions training for Gen Z during her internship. She will visit Fellows chapters and also attend the Cross Cultural Ministry Internship held in Brussels in July. We are excited to have Carolyn working with us. Pray for her time in the US and Belgium while she is doing her internship.
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.