Mobilization Team Expands its Reach
In the pursuit of intentionally establishing deeper connections among the North American Wesleyan Church, the Global Partners mobilization team is continuing to see growth both in team numbers and in overall partnership.
At its heart, the mobilization team “exists to amplify local church mission by engaging with the North American church to inspire a culture of sending, and by journeying with people in their obedience to the Great Commission.” And with the provision and power of God, the team is doing just that.
With the short-term 2-4-month internship experience called NEXT, the team has been able to send 50 interns in a span of three years, resulting in more interest and pursuit of long-term appointments. In addition to six former interns who are in the process to become long-term missionaries, one intern is in the process of becoming a Global Marketplace Multiplier in the Czech Republic.
Most recently, as a way to reach more churches, universities and individuals throughout the United States, the team has also developed a new role. This position, titled Regional Mobilizer, aims to dive deeper into discipleship, meaningful connections and to ultimately give people the solid support needed to go and serve around the world.
*James, director of mobilization, said “one of the things in the mobilization journey we realized, is that in the church today a lot of people are asking for and looking for mentorship … coaching, someone to walk along that journey.”
In response to this need, regional mobilizers are spreading out to work as point-people by providing more direct access with individuals across the country.
Currently, fewer and fewer people are going to serve around the world. Creating this new role results in better opportunities to not only find the people God is calling, but to then journey with them as they discover and obey that call.
“So, the hope is that we’ll see more people walking in obedience to the call … more missionaries, more Global Marketplace Multipliers, short- termers, more interns, more young people on fire and seeing revival,” James added. “When God’s people are saying yes and are being obedient to the call that God has for them, the Kingdom of God is impacted in powerful ways.”
Initially, the team planned to begin with one regional mobilizer at the start of 2022 to see how it went. God, however, had abundant plans and opened more doors. Shortly after the team began this journey with Michalla Arbour in the Great Lakes Region, the team welcomed Jackie Fussner into the Mid-Southwest Region, and Mindy Tharnish into the Northeast Region.
At the start of July, Tina Chaput, missions pastor at Foothills Community Church, will join the team in the Pacific Southwest Region. Additionally, missionaries Christy and Barry Van Steenburg will join this fall in the Southeast Region. There’s also a plan to expand regional mobilizers to Canada in September.
Jackie, a former mobilization team member who has returned as a regional mobilizer, said she wanted to jump into this role because she believes everything hinges on relationships – and that’s what this is all about!
“My life is better because of the people I’ve met around the world through working with Global Partners . . . I want that same opportunity to be available to anyone in our local churches that is sensing the same calling to missions that I did as a young Christian in a local Wesleyan church in Michigan,” she said.
So far, the first 3-5 months have been dedicated to developing a network. Regional mobilizers have been calling churches and individuals to introduce themselves and ask how they can partner together.
“I’ve been able to have coffee, breakfast and lunches with many of the Wesleyan pastors and other missional leaders in this area,” Mindy said. She added that she focuses on asking “How can Global Partners serve you? How can I serve you? How can we be on mission together?”
As the year’s halfway mark approaches, the team is excited by the growth its seen.
“We’re excited about it; it’s already opened a lot of doors. We’ve gotten feedback from a lot of churches in areas where we used to not be able to frequently go, because we’re limited,” James said. “They’ve said ‘it’s so good to be connected! Sometimes we feel disconnected because we’re so far away.’”
James and Jackie both said the excitement level from the church as a whole has been encouraging, and they’re thrilled to see God move them forward so quickly.
“Pastors want to see the people in their congregations growing and active in their faith – we get to partner together, with God, to help people walk in obedience to the Great Commission,” Jackie added.
As the team continues to grow, they’re keeping the ultimate goal in mind.
“My hope and prayer is that we as a church and denomination continue sending and to continue taking the Gospel to the unreached,” James said. “The only way we can do that is by saying yes to being obedient to the call.”
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*Last name has been withheld due to security guidelines