When I’ve asked Christian leaders, what is your priority, growth or quality, they invariably answer, “We seek both. We don’t see them as mutually exclusive.”  But if we look with our eyes and hear with our ears, as Jesus exhorts us to do, we know them by their fruits.  Growth comes first, then quality.

Consider these six different mission organizations.  Each organization has departments that provide oversight for; member care, mobilization, I.T., field leadership, and short-term missions. Now, if you’re from one of these organizations—I’m not going to pick on anybody, although I’m tempted to—which of these organizations has the best member care?  Which agency has the best mobilization?  Can you say your organization is absolutely the best mobilizer out of all the mission organizations?  Who’s the best?  You don’t know, do you?  I can go down the list—40+ services we’ve identified that most major mission organizations offer their people.  In all but a few areas, nobody knows who offers the best service in each area.

And if our service in any one area is not the best, do we dare you offer Jesus anything that is not the very best?  If another organization is providing a service that is better than our own shouldn’t we be outsourcing our mediocre service to the one who is excellent?  From a fruitful and productive viewpoint, each mission organization should focus what doing what God has assigned them to do better than anybody else; then outsource other services to those who specialize in those areas. This leads to two questions:

  • Why is each mission agency providing so many services at average quality, when we could come alongside and work together focusing on utilizing one another’s God given strengths?  Why don’t mission agencies outsource to one another those services they are not strong in?
  • How do we determine which mission organizations services are the best, when currently there is no way to compare one group’s services with another?

For example.  BAM/B4T is a relatively new service which more and more organizations are adding to their list of services.  Yet why start a BAM/B4T department when there are already a couple of groups specializing in that?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these questions.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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