So, what is team formation? It is the process of getting to know other singles and married couples/ families better and praying together to see if it is God’s will for us to work together. What are some important things to learn about each other? Well, first would be how similar are we theologically? After all, we will be church planting and discipling together. Secondly, how similar are our ministry philosophies? Are we similar in how simply we want to live, in how we want to interact with the local people and in the methods in which we will teach and disciple? Although our mission has core beliefs and philosophies, there are some variations between different teams and families within those parameters. Another area to get to know about the other person/people is personality and strengths. Are we compliments to each other? They cannot all be good Bible translators while no one is a good disciple-maker, variety is required on a church planting team. There are many other things to learn about when getting to know others in a possible team. People say the biggest thing teams fight about are children! So, it is helpful if you have similar parenting styles. During this process, we and two other “units” to our possible team have been and will continue to meet together and discuss these things and much more. Since our potential ministry location involves a neighboring church that is established and maturing with elders appointed, these men will be involved in our planning and team formation as well. Those elders will be part of the team. We will also seek counsel from mission consultants here who have successfully worked together with others on a team and have years of experience. And last but not least, we will each be seeking counsel and praying with our sending church.
Another part of team formation is that the leadership team here in PNG asks that we do a team project to spend time together in a real-life situation… not just in interviews. Right now, one potential team member is on home assignment in the U.S. so we will be doing this team project in a couple months when we are all together. By the time we finish this project, Lord Willing, we will all be agreed on the direction in which this team is heading. IF we feel God is opening the doors, we will then be in the “allocation phase” where we will be planning with the local village all of the logistics of building and moving in.
What else needs to happen? We also need to start raising funds for our bush house. We want to be good stewards with our time and get fund raising going now so we will be able to purchase materials in a timely fashion when allocation time starts. Leadership has given us the green light to set up a special account for this. Also, we are thankful that while we have been living on the center, our costs were not as high as they will be in the bush so we have been able to save about $20,000 of the expected $60,000 for the house build/ air transportation costs associated with a house build in a helicopter location. Would you pray about helping us with this one-time expense? Here is a link to our website about this information: https://swensontribe.wordpress.com/house-building/
Got Brains and/or Braun? For those of you who have told us you would be interested in helping us build our house, now would be a good time for you to think through if that would be a possibility. Please e-mail us if you are still interested in helping. Whether you are a woodsman (good with a chainsaw), an electrician or plumber or you just have a little building experience, we might be able to use your help. We will have experienced people here helping, but only a limited number. So as not to inundate the people we are going to minister to, we don’t plan on bringing big build crews but a few folks here and there who are patient and don’t mind working with the local people (even if it means the process goes slower…think discipleship). Once we get closer to the time of building and have a better idea what we might need for help and if you were among those who could come to help, we would prepare you ahead on culture and building differences here. Now is the time to start communicating with us and getting your passport updated so that if it works out when the time comes, you will be ready!
- We are thankful for the team formation process and how God keeps “knocking our socks off” with how well things are going. This year has been a vivid demonstration of how God works things together for good. Some times were tough, but God had wonderful things waiting for us.
- For this potential team. Our prayer is that God would continue to open those doors if that is where He wants us. It is after all, all about what HE is doing!
- Please be praying for our friends, the Poidevins, who are walking through some significant health related challenges right now. Here’s a link for info on how you can pray: https://ethnos.ca/poidevin-family/