Christmas was a fun time. Kay and I received greetings from staff friends around the world. Friends in Asia, in the Middle East, in Europe, in Africa sent Christmas greetings. We heard from so many of our U.S. donors and friends.
We had the privilege of spending time with our children and grandchildren and parents in Texas.
Many of the Christmas greetings we received and the family updates came by email or an electronic greeting card, especially from our friends around the world. It’s fun to live in an internetworked, connected world where we can communicate so easily and inexpensively. Some of the Christmas greetings came from people I’ve never met in person, but we’ve met and worked together in online forums as members of “virtual” teams that work together online.
Kay and I, as individual staff members of Campus Crusade for Christ, have a very large network of friends and associates living and ministering around the globe. We know a small fraction of the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ.
When I put on my “Chief Technology Officer hat”, I realize how important it is for our ministry to know who our staff are around the world, where they are ministering, how it is going, how we can help them more. But currently, we do not have a global system where all our staff are known.
This might sound atrocious, but at our core, we are a highly decentralized group of individuals called together by God and bound together by our passion to know Him and to make Him known. Our staff are well known within each individual country, but not as well “known” across geographic and continental boundaries.
This hasn’t been a significantly limiting issue until recent years. With God’s gift of the internet to speed missions and allow us to win boldly, build deeply and send urgently using email, web, chat, video and other internet technologies, geographic barriers no longer exist.
We can also work together as staff members across these geographic boundaries. This happens every day in Campus Crusade for Christ. We have teams of people working on common projects where some live in Asia, some live in Europe, some live in North America. We work as a single team because God has provided communication that no other generation of missionaries has ever had.
We now have a greater need to know who the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ are at a global level. We need to know who to invite into some of these projects.
To put this project into perspective, imagine a project to know all the church members in your city, in all churches, that is accurate every week. How would you begin such a project?
So I am on the road again. In an airplane seat again. I left my best traveling buddy (Kay) behind in Orlando. I’m making a short trip to Singapore where for a meeting top global leadership to begin addressing the issue of how to create a global human resources system so that we can know who our staff are, how God has gifted them, where they live, how they are ministering and contributing to the Great Commission, and other simple information.
We’ll launch this project with a physical meeting in a geographic place (Singapore). We’ll mostly work the project through internet communication tools like email, Skype telephone, Oovoo video conferencing, Global ConneXion virtual teaming, and WebEx online meetings.
Living as a missionary in 2008 is filled with tremendous possibilities that never existed for previous generations of missionaries. It’s a tremendous time to help everyone know someone who truly follows Jesus.