The JourneyJoe and Sue Rogers are traveling through their 16th year of coordinating AIMís missions among American Indians. God began this ministry with one mission of 15 people in North Dakota in 1996, to as many as 20 missions with 401 people in 11 locations in 2009. What a ride! Please read through the below standards carefully. They will reveal the nature of Native missions, centered on living out Matthew 22:37-40. Our teams must clearly love God and love people above all else.
The Five Fingers of a True Helping HandWe will come to serve Jesus.
Our team will come first to serve Jesus Ė not a country, not a people group, not a community, not a ministry, not a pastor. The Lord will no doubt have plans for us, but our first priority is to seek Him, obey Him, and serve Him. Our teams do not have all the answers, or the best way of doing everything, or a monopoly on leadership during the mission. Our mission plan will begin with the desires and direction of the local pastor or missionary. Our intent is to assist the local Body of Christ in developing leaders, and accomplishing the tasks given them (and us) by God.
We plan to work with people, not for them.
In most cases, our teams will only tackle smaller (not all-consuming) work/service projects where we can join the local Body in ministries they have chosen, working alongside them. We expect to get to know the people benefiting from our work, as well as their friends and family working with us.
We carefully avoid creating dependency.
We understand the fine line between helping people and developing dependency. Our field partners do not look at our teams as resources for money, free labor, and free equipment or materials. Partner churches are expected to contribute planning and direction, funds (when possible), and labor to joint work projects or ministry activities.
We plan missions for relational ministry.
American Indian mission projects are intentionally relational. They are meant to foster friendships that deliver opportunities to share lives, learn from one another, and encourage. When we care about someone personally, they are more likely to listen without prejudice.
We minister to the ministers.
Ministry will be directed toward our partners and their families on the field. They minister to Natives year-round, dealing daily with the hurt, lies, apathy, death, and distrust in their communities.
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