How are ideas engendered and this came to mind as I was reading the Bridges for Peace news earlier this year, an article generated from the Israel Defense Forces blog.
Just days before the end of their training to become officers, soldiers in the Air Force's Ofek Unit participated in a 48-hour hackathon. The goal of this exercise: for soldiers to innovate, create and keep themselves on their toes.
During the 48-hour hackathon, the unit's soldiers were tasked with developing new computer programs for the Air Force and the IDF [Israel Defense Forces]. At the end of the session, participants presented their concepts to other soldiers, commanders responsible for their training and the commander of their unit.
The soldiers involved were divided into three groups, each of which was responsible for developing a computer program of its choice. These programs could go on to play a central role in the Air Forces' systems. They knew in advance what was expected of them – programs to bring solutions very quickly to the battlefield.
Before the hackathon started, the groups sat down and thought carefully about what the Air Force actually needs. "We've been here since yesterday, and we haven't stopped," says one of the soldiers. "We even slept here last night. This hackathon was an unforgettable experience and a real pleasure to participate in."
At the end of the presentations, one crucial message for the unit's soldiers was left with them: that the unit's goal - was to do what until recently - the world thought was impossible.
So too Christian ministry ideas
This is precisely how new ministry ideas get generated. What's the ministry now needed - that is not being provided. Who in our community has somehow missed out on Christian ministry.
As one example, this was how Australian sports ministry was initiated in 1982. Having been an elite athlete myself, I recognised there was a whole 'people group' in the Australian community without very specialised Christian ministry. That was an amazing 18 year journey. See Peter Nelson's story to capture part of this
So too Christian ministries around the world - inside and outside the Christian community. Read any of the Christian advances in this area from the great missionary expansion of the C19th through to today and what's required is a heart of faith, a prayer team, and insights from the Spirit of the Lord that anything is possible with God.
Triage Missionary Respite
In 2011 the 'Basil Sellers Laguna Quays Respite' cottage was opened on the Whitsundays and since then many missionaries, people in mission and church have visited for their own 'time-out'. There is no cost but visitors are invited to leave a donation to help cover the functioning expenses.
On Tuesday 12 August Mr Basil Sellers AM made his first visit to Laguna Quays Respite along with enjoying a luncheon with the Basil Sellers Midge Point Art Prize eight 'finalists' and a meeting with the Midge Point community support network that maintains the respite cottage.
During that specific meeting Basil Sellers raised the question as to whether there is a different kind of facility that singularly focuses on triage missionary respite, rather than the 'time-out' basis of Laguna Quays which runs at a near full capacity.
As a result of that meeting, Basil Sellers asked me to gather together four Mission executives, where he as a philanthropist, might further explore a triage missionary respite facility and gather further first hand information.
This demanded a cross section of Mission executives experience and those invited were: Dr Omar Djoeandy (SIM), Reverend Canon Richards (CMS), Reverend Ken Clendinning (Global Interaction) and Reverend Viv Grice (Denominational Ministers / Missionaries – Burn-out).
Omar had visited to Laguna Quays Respite, many CMS missionaries have visited Laguna Quays Respite, Ken's daughter and son-in-law are on the mission field and Viv's first hand ministry of burn-out critical.
Tuesday 23 September Basil Sellers met with these Mission executives and as a consequence Dr Omar Djoeandy was pleased announce this to Mission Interlink which links many of the missionary societies for common cause, and Basil Sellers asked me to investigate a location for triage missionary respite.
The key factors were a major airport nearby, an AVIS depot (we already have an arrangement with AVIS for missionaries visiting Laguna Quays Respite) and a functioning support network. I came back to Basil Sellers with three locations – the Barossa Valley, the Hunter Valley, Hinterland Gold Coast and Basil added to that list Midge Point due to the existing support network.
2015 we will see movement in this triage missionary respite direction.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html