Called To A Mission At Home & Abroad
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER, ANDY BACHERT
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” Romans 10:15 (KJV)
When I was a child, I used to think that to be a missionary, you had to be “old,” a Biblical scholar, and you would have to move into a tribal setting where you would live the rest of your life. I thought “evangelists” or “church planters” were the only ones qualified to be missionaries.
When I started traveling with Friends in Action in 2002, I began to understand that being a missionary included much more. Case in point, I’m writing this article onsite with mission partners in Uganda on a two-week construction trip to support their infrastructure development needs. I just came inside after a long, late-night conversation with our mission partner and a group of men from the village, building relationships. God is using us hammer- pounders to bring people into Jesus- centered relationships.
As Chief Operations Officer (COO), the Lord has helped me understand the importance of being “on mission” with Him at headquarters. Meeting with missionaries and partners serving abroad, it is clear the struggle they would have if they had to do the work God called them to without having a strong team at home, without the administrative, logistical, and care support of organizations sending them out.
I see it like this; if the activity of sharing the Gospel is the “heart” of the mission for our field teams and deployed missionaries, then our home staff and support team is the “vascular system,” supporting the work of the heart by whatever means necessary to supply every organ, every appendage, every inch of skin to accomplish its purpose. A beating heart means nothing without the rest of the vascular system. I reflect on what Romans 10:14-15 says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
Some may think less of those who sit behind the desk, who make sure the numbers add up, write the articles, or stuff the letters. But each person has been equally called to the mission of sharing the Gospel, to use their gifts here to support those serving out there. Their role in the mission is to help send, which is why operations at FIA headquarters are so essential. Our administrative team understands the importance of a support system— support is why we do what we do.
Our ministry partners greatly benefit when they have an effective administrative team at their backs, praying, logistically coordinating, raising awareness and financial support, and spotlighting their work in the field. We do what is needed to help them get the job done. Knowing that God has placed each of us here gives us the ability to execute our purpose. We do what we love, and we do it for Jesus.