Since 2010, God has opened wide a door for effective ministry in the country of Haiti. The opportunities in this country are simply massive, and at the same time, so are the dangers and challenges. Ministering in a cross-cultural context requires sensitivity and skill, and add to that a third-world nation ravaged by one disaster after another, we need wisdom and discipline to avoid the potential mine field of personal disappointment, group entitlement, unintended consequences, unfulfilled intentions, and failed execution.
It is important to hash out a philosophy of mission so that we have a pre-committed plan of working with the same understanding and set of principles so as to avoid confusion and frustration. A properly understood philosophy of mission will bring alignment to perceptions, ambitions, and approaches as well as clarity and unity regarding attitudes, perspectives, and personal desires. If the stated philosophy of mission is circumvented whether intentionally or unintentionally by team members, then the integrity and character of the work we are doing will be compromised.
Essential to what we do through the Haiti Collective is knowing the answers to the why? and how? and so what? questions. Why do we do what we do? How do we do it? So what if we do it differently? Does it really matter? In other words, a healthy and robust mission will consider all the ramifications of the work God is calling us to do, not simply answering the what question alone.
As God continues to open doors and more partnerships are established with local churches, we seek to maintain a unified philosophy of mission for the integrity of the work, the advance of the gospel, and to avoid sending conflicting or mixed messages in what we do among our brothers and sisters in Haiti. With that in mind, there are five main core values that briefly explain the philosophy of mission. In the coming days, I will break each one down in separate posts.