It’s fairly common I feel (at least for me) to hear
missionaries vent their discouragements of how their mission board does not see things the same way they do. Our world is full of disgruntled burned out missionaries that feel slighted or hurt by a mission organization. What we are facing here is a disconnect between the organism, the life, the vitality and the organization, the structure, the administration. Us field visionaries are full of experiences, dreams and opinions and when we are made accountable to the logical, efficiency and structure of a board of directors there is friction. This friction is created when decisions are made without full understanding and or one steps out of their realm of responsibility and into the realm of another; whether because of distrust or ignorance that depends upon the situation. You can break it down to two groups of people. The board of directors and the board of operations (or field staff); but what are the responsibilities of these two groups and do they over step their responsibilities? Do the Directors try to micro manage those on the field? Does the field not respect the Directors? Is there an umbrella vision that is the thrust of the missionary work? I’m asking questions, questions to make us think. One important key that is a common problem is that each member of the Board of Directors must have personal, practical experience on the given field and also that they have a respect and appreciation for the feelings and opinions of both the field staff and nationals. For us field staff; how are we keeping the Organism alive? Are we passing on the torch? A must for our ministry is that we work through the national leadership that is in place to meet their felt needs. Rather than work around them to try to meet what we perceive to be their needs. This will create ownership which will empower them to carry on the vision.