ANZAC represents core values – so too are fresh approaches to mission
Yes, it's in the bible, you do not live by bread alone, the famous 'spiritual' retort by Jesus in the temptations.
This has oft been repeated in various guises. One instance I recall was in the Field Hockey press box at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic. Some hopeful hockey journalists were unable to make 'hockey' their sole writing career and this comment was heard – 'You cannot live by hockey alone'.
The late hockey writer of the Times of London Sydney Syd Frisken supplemented his hockey writing with the Pot Black columns. He too understood you cannot live by hockey alone.
But many itinerant evangelists and missions do precisely this - they highly specialise in one area and survive due to their loyal network supporters who finance them in these endeavours.
There is nothing new in this as Jesus instructed his followers to take nothing with them when they lead forth in mission. The idea behind this is that financial support while on Kingdom business is part and parcel of Christian outreach.
A business situation
Well, here is one young 'ideas person' who does do this - Zoe Boikou – and it is 'one' generic product – and has made millions – on selling high quality and affordable make-up brushes.
One item. One item only. But she knew intuitively she was on a winner.
“No shop sold any affordable and quality make-up brushes,” Ms Boikou, the founder of global make-up brand ZOEVA told news.com.au from Germany. “I wasn’t in a position where I could spend a lot of money, and so I sat down and thought about how I could change the situation.”
“I had no history in make-up, and no experience in developing brushes. But I knew what I liked, and I appreciated good products.” Taking her search for the perfect brush overseas, Ms Boikou came across a business-to-business company in Canada that seemed to “fulfil in part” what she was looking for in a make-up brush.
“I bought a few of these brushes in 2008 and trialled and tested them for myself,” she said. “I ordered some more online, and began to sell the brushes through an account on eBay. When the sales started to get bigger about three years after I started the store, I had to find a manufacturer who could include a logo and make the brushes look more professional,” she said.
She exchanged the Canadian outlet to produce her brand through China. “It took two to three years, but my brushes started to get very popular around the same time as online make-up tutorials” Ms Boikou said. “I realised lots of people were buying the products, and recommending them on YouTube and other social media outlets, and their followers wanted to buy my products as well.”
Yellow trunk – philosophy of where older failed concepts are put away
Social media became a marketing tool which sent her product sales through the roof. So too have many missions. The short punchy video has changed the way we see the world, the smart sharp twitter sentence can announce international political policies and comment on up-to-the-minute evangelism.
This is something we too have discovered in our Well-Being Australia mission. We are engaging in no more than other missions which have seen such beneficial results. I am unable to speak of these multitudes, only our own little part of the vineyard.
The monthly newsletter is one A4 page both hard copy and E-version and mostly photographs. Long gone are the many pages of print.
The weekly E-Blast – like a blog - the link is emailed to our network and one photo with a few lines of explanatory notes. The Email itself might contain a bit of other information – very limited.
The young writer national conferences and such like are videoed - and one of our young writer team (many are conversant with video production) cuts it down to a i-2 minute presentation.
Likewise our respite ministry. Again a very short sharp pithy video presentation on the Internet.
The young writer ministry program has a weekly Thursday memo which contains specific type information for the team. These include an editor's note. News items pertaining to the program. Over a period of 5 weeks each young writer in invited to send it in a newsy bit' from their situation.
The respite ministry requires a regular feed to mission and church agencies for their professional personnel might enjoy a pre-burn-out break. These have proven very effective.
The philosophy of all this is that these communications are not sermons or devotionals. There are innumerable web sites that cater for these.
Rather the successful philosophy of what we have done following the many other missions before us have likewise activated, has been 'focus' communication.
2014 New Zealand young writer leadership group – young fresh applications to ministry
It is enormously difficult for churches to effectively change direction. I am able to provide one illustration of this. Tugun Baptist Church was a small elderly congregation near the Gold Coast airport.
Nearby was a fresh Baptist work worshipping in a hall with loads of your families and an emphasis on the next generation – a Sunday school focus. This elderly congregation two years ago made the momentous decision to hand their building, their ministry, the management and the legal documents of ownership - to this fresh exciting congregation.
Now, the Living Temple Christian Church has three Sunday congregation times, 8.00am, 10.00am and 4.00pm. It is bursting with young families and full of children. The oldies love it. But its a whole new paradigm in worship, fellowship and Christian presentation.
We're in a new world to that of even 30 years ago. The IT world and subsequently social media demands a whole fresh approach specialising in 'focus'.
Living Temple Christian Church – church sign of service times – essential not fancy
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. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html