Mt. Bethel Missions has had a major impact on a lot of individuals over the past 10 years. As we work with our partner organizations, we have always tried to get people involved with the partners so the lives of our congregation members can be impacted just as those we serve are impacted. There will be a lot of changes within Missions over 2018. Much of this is the culmination of efforts that have been in progress for more than five years.
Often the members of our Mission Committee have debated on how we can best help those partners. Based on the committee’s observations and on a lot of research with other churches and partners, we have come to the conclusion that we have to develop a deeper relationship with our partner organizations. We are taking a few major steps for this to occur. The first of these is to actually gain a deeper understanding of those we currently partner with and may partner with in the future. Two years ago, we designated Mission Committee members to specific partners during our annual grant requests. These members were assigned the task of digging into the grant requests, the financial reports, and even seeking out answers to questions from the partner advocates or the partners themselves. In 2017, we made significant modifications to the grant request coming into 2018 to get a more complete picture of our partners. We wanted to ensure that we had a more complete picture of the partners’ complete service offerings, the stewardship of the funds they received from Mt Bethel and other organizations, their growth in their efforts, and to get a better understanding of just how they are transforming lives for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
As we move through 2018, we are striving to further deepen that understanding and develop the relationships with our partners. We are consolidating our efforts into four focus areas. These areas encompass the majority of what Mt. Bethel does within missions. These areas are:
- Homeless and Extreme Poverty
- Trafficked and Enslaved
- Unreached People (have not heard the gospel)
The Mission Committee has been divided into four subgroups to specifically concentrate on understanding the best practices for addressing issues their specific focus area. They will be digging deeper with each of our partners throughout the remainder of the year to understand the depth and breadth of how our partners address the issues within these focus areas. If we have a gap in a partner space, they will also be investigating potential partners to identify who might be the best fit for Mt. Bethel.
Each quarter we will try to highlight one of these focus areas to bring awareness to the issues of those we are trying to serve. During that time, we hope to provide opportunities for you to learn about the focus area through gatherings and roundtable sessions. We are also working to provide opportunities for you to connect with a partner in this area.
In order to increase the focus, we will have two core partners per focus area. One of these will be a global partner; the other will be a community partner. These partners are selected based upon the overall Kingdom impact they have. It isn’t just a numbers game. They are providing thought leadership. They are providing a complete approach. Some of them may even encompass multiple focus areas in their work.
We are also working to change the structure of our Missions web pages to align with the focus areas. Since this is a work in progress, we will be happy to schedule a discussion with your life group or Sunday school class to discuss opportunities. Please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] and we will be glad to set something up.
It is our hope that you would look into the partnerships now and moving forward and consider engaging in a deeper relationship with one of our partners. We realize that with the level of commitments we all have in our daily lives (work, family, etc.), it is sometimes difficult to commit to one more thing. Maybe your life group or Sunday school class can adopt one of these partners to engage once a quarter or once a month. If you can take that step, you will become a part of something greater and you may find your life changed as God uses you to change the life of someone else. He can make that happen, but you have to take that first step.