Mobilizing More – You be the boss

Mobilizing More – You be the boss

Pioneers USA mobilizes new workers for the global Christian movement – part of my job here is to assist in this task.

Next year we want to significantly expand our recruitment, by a full one third. The question is, how?

You be the boss: How would you direct this increase in mobilization?

Increasing prayer is an obvious one. Here are some other options I have been thinking about:

  1. Increase staffing on the mobilization team (Why? More calls, emails, etc. will produce more contacts and whatnot).
  2. Put great effort into social networking (Why? There is a big shift in culture toward social networking which we are only beginning to utilize).
  3. Do more mobilization oriented events (Why?  Greater exposure and the US church seems to like events and conferences).
  4. Add staff to visit more churches (Why? The theory here is that churches hold the key to recruitment).
  5. Execute a "broad exposure" campaign via advertising (Why? Because Pioneers is not well known outside of the missions community).
  6. Partner with Bible schools (Why? It's often stated that this is like "fishing in a barrel" – folks are already interested in missions).
  7. Increase training programs (Why? Often, recruits come from training programs like Perspectives, or Encountering the World of Islam).
  8. Other?

Let's assume that money is not the issue.

Where would you invest your resources?

3 thoughts on “Mobilizing More – You be the boss

  1. Ted, Did you know that you catch a lot more fish by fishing in a stocked pond, rather than a random spot in the ocean? Come fish a little more in Perspectives. We've been working with James and Jillian to do this some, but not to the degree others are taking advantage of it. So what if all the Pioneers advocates, volunteers, candidates, and ex-staff were to volunteer in or help start Perspectives classes all over the country? If you have a subtle, yet constant presence in the classes, you are sure to reap more fruit. A Wycliffe staff member just sat in the back of about of the class and helped around some, and through his presence and building relationships, he recruited 5 people from that class. We can help you create a Perspectives recruitment strategy. Call Ryan Emis.

    We've also seen with Every Ethne that it may be more fruitful to grow recruits than to just pick the fruit others have grown. What if all the recruiters from the agencies were to focus on mobilizing their state in churches and colleges through tools like God's Heart for the Nations, Nvision, XPLORE study, Perspectives, Bridges small groups, TOAGs, and good old fashioned one on one mobilization? There are a few guys and gals in Iowa that took this strategy with college students and young adults. They've grown the Perspectives program in that state from 0 classes in 2005 to 10 in 2010 with over 689 students this past year. Next year, the state of Iowa will account for 1/7th of all classes and students in the USA, primarily because of the team led by Andy Kampman of Every Ethne. And this past year, they sent 25 of their people to support raising training and the majority are going with Frontiers to work with unengaged M's. So guy buy Andy a steak if you want some more of his recruits. 🙂

    Also, send us a full time recruiter to work out of Fayetteville, AR. We've got people going to the field left and right here. And it's a close drive to Tulsa, Kansas City, and other hot spots.

    That's all I got for you. We love Pioneers!
    John Patton
    Director of Operations, Perspectives

    1. John,

      Excellent input. Our team will definitely discuss this.

      In the next day or two, I am going to post an article here about missions mobilization that rings true with your suggestion of "growing" recruits.

      Let me share a few personal observations regarding my interaction with Perspectives. My wife and I took Perspectives back in 1988 in Minneapolis. It was held a Lutheran church downtown. The first night, John Piper spoke. It was so awesome to hear about God's heart for the nations and that course was a large part of our decision to go overseas. So, I love and appreciate Perspectives for sure and believe that it is part of a necessary.

      Since coming back from Bosnia, I have taught various lessons now for about 10 years. What I have experienced is that Perspectives works very well when the leadership team on the ground is a good one. When the team is fragmented or feels that their hands are tied (either from relationship issues locally or the vibes they get from the national office) then the course is small. I have probably spoken to about 6 or 7 classes with fewer than 8 students. It is not motivating for me to teach when the time commitment is large and the exposure is small. I have also spoken to classes of hundreds and that is very encouraging.

      This leads me to think that its people like Andy are the key to this approach. Key leaders with a strong vision for mobilization. It probably won't matter so much which program they utilize if they have a heart for mobilizing.

      (By the way, I think one of our staff members recently joined a Perspectives team – not sure what city she is working out of, though, as it happened recently and I have been traveling a ton this summer.)

  2. I think Pioneers could be stronger in finding ways to be a resource to mission-minded individuals and other ministries, such as through providing or participating in training events, workshops, classes, holy land tours (just kidding), etc. Those are the sort of things that allow more people a chance to get to know and understand the agency without becoming long-term missionaries, that give people something in the short-term that they can use, wherever, as well as an avenue to consider further involvement.

    “Edge,” the summer program, does a great job at providing this for the college-aged, and the numbers suggest it’s often been very effective at wooing long-term candidates as well. But are there other ways to capitalize on the expertise of staff to provide exposure and equipping experiences for more of the people who’d like to check things out? Maybe there’s more going on than I know?

    Glad to see an ad for Story10 in the latest EMQ, and suspect there’s also one in the Mission Frontiers I haven’t cracked open yet. Advertising is expensive… social networking just takes time and attention. Both help increase awareness. I’m surprised how often people I think ought to know about Pioneers, don’t… and wonder what it would take so that Christian leaders talking to potential recruits would think of Pioneers, of church-planting, of work among the unreached when they are discussing options and opportunties.

    John, thanks for your ideas about connecting better through Perspectives classes. I’ve taught in lots and lots of classes (large and small) over the years and sometimes helped out with the local classes as well. As I come off a sabbatical, I have barely enough work this fall, including only two Perspectives gigs. “Why didn’t the class in my own city ask me to speak this year?!” I was whining, the other day. Oh, wait, maybe I should just call and ask if there are other ways I can serve them and help them make their class the best it can be, eh?

    Marti Smith

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