Let’s Grow More Facilitators

 

The missions community is suffering from a shortage of gifted, committed, partnership facilitators. Yet as we have explained in our September 2017 issue of Postings, good partnerships don’t happen without a competent facilitator.

The shortage stems from several factors. Essentially the role didn’t exist until a few years ago, so recruiting facilitators hasn’t been on our radar. Even today, missions efforts revolve around recruiting “do-er” missionaries and seldom highlight the need for facilitator-type workers who have a very different gift mix. Another reason for the lack of facilitators is that we haven’t prioritized funding these roles.

Local churches are the best place to address this facilitator shortage. Here are four action steps to consider:

  1. Identify. Look around your congregation for people who like to network others together so that a job gets done. Identify those who are good at building consensus and getting people to work as a team toward a goal. Challenge these people to consider becoming partnership facilitators. It might mean they transition to a full-time missions role, or they might serve your church as a volunteer facilitator who makes multiple field trips per year. Look inside your field partners’ organizations or churches too.
  2. Train. Underwrite training for a prospective facilitator. Seminars are available in the business world, and visionSynergy offers training and coaching for network leaders in the missions community.
  3. Fund. Support your facilitator’s salary and partnership-related expenses. Don’t assume that the funding they receive for other tasks covers their work for your partnership. Facilitation demands quality leadership and extensive time, so facilitators deserve to be generously compensated for their work.
  4. Pray. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to thrust out facilitators into His harvest. Pray out facilitators, and you will soon find that they have drawn in many others to serve in the harvest alongside them.

We would love to hear your suggestions for growing facilitators. Share them below or here if you are reading this blog as an email.

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