As I mentioned before, I recently attended the RESET conference in Arizona. My expectations were probably set too high, as the lead-up was fantastic.
- Regional dialogs unearthed some really radical ideas, such as a proposal that mission agencies drop their own HR departments in favor of a single non-profit that provides those services. It was clear to all of us that there’s just too much redundancy.
- The case statement drew from Ramo’s book, Age of the Unthinkable. I’ve blogged enough on that book that the author is still showing up in my tag cloud in the right column of this blog.
- We knew going in that the two host organizations, The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA) and Cross Global Link (formerly IFMA) were very likely going to end 50 years of talk and finally merge into one organization representing missions in North America. What a great model for the rest of us!
So those lofty expectations doomed me. I found the sessions somewhat flat in comparison. One tweet resonated with a number of us after a speaker proposed a list of changes for world missions: “This would have been great if we were talking about it 50 years ago.”
Then this week I discovered the speaker who should have been there. To their credit, the organization that introduced futurist Dr. Jay Gary to me was The Mission Exchange, the same organization that introduced me to Ramo and hosted the RESET Conference. Unfortunately, their webinar yesterday didn’t get the platform the conference would have given him. Dr. Gary is a professor with Regent University’s Masters of Strategic Foresight program. Just the name of that degree makes me salivate…
I’m only just beginning to unpack what Dr. Jay Gary recommends for the mission world in his article, “Toward the Great Work.” Here’s an example:
Protestant World Missions practitioners are fifty years behind awakening to this Great Work, and will likely have little leverage in leading our world to safety, contrary to the Wisdom of Jesus. This is a sober fact that evangelism has become reductionist, and merely focused on the after-life, not this life, contrary to what Jesus did for his generation. We must listen to the late missiologist David Bosch and learn how to transform mission.
For those of you who attended RESET, imagine a speaker lineup of Cobie Langerak, Tim Breene and Jay Gary. For those gifted with Futurist strengths, you’ll love the following collection of articles:
Strategic Foresight: Looking to the future to plan today
The future of Business as Mission
15 Provocations from the future
Trends and Technology Timeline 2010+ (the London Underground-inspired map above)
I need to go read some more. I just had to get this posted so you could join me.
I only wish your expectations had been unreasonably high. You are correct that the problem lay elsewhere. Thank you for your frankness and courage!