Looking Ahead Missionary Reflections on the District Representative Expansion

Excitement & Curiosity

By the end of summer 2019, another round of Staff Conferences would have come and gone.

Missionaries from across the country gathered with other missionary families in their district for a week of fellowship and renewal.

After an exhausting year spent doing ministry in places that can feel lonely and isolated, being in the company of like-minded people who understand your struggles is often what our missionaries need.

While the same sense of excitement still permeated the air – kids reunited with other Christian friends, adventures in the afternoon free time, and five days free of distractions and obligations – a new sense of curiosity was there, too.

Over the last few months, our missionaries have been gradually learning more about the upcoming expansion of the District Representative (DR) Ministry. Perhaps they came to conference with lots of questions about what exactly the expansion will look like, and how their district will be impacted.

At each of our Staff Conferences this summer, Assistant Director John Adams has been able to address just that. During one of the daily sessions, John has walked our missionaries through the process of the expansion, and why Village Missions believes that this will greatly benefit our DRs our missionaries, and our churches.

You have already read stories from two great couples – the Atteburys in Nevada and the Hoetzlers in New York– and how the DR Expansion will benefit missionaries like them.

But what about the rest of our missionaries? How do they feel that the expansion will affect their ministries?

Well, let’s take a walk down the breathtaking Oregon Coast to Cannon Beach, where our largest Staff Conference is held each year (both the Western & Northwestern Districts meet here).

During their week spent in this little beach town, some of the missionaries were asked their thoughts on all these big changes. Here’s what a few of them had to say!

“We think it’s a great idea for the DRs to have a smaller district. This will create an improved base for them to know our missionaries better. It also makes the DRs more accessible should a crisis within the church happen.”
DR Greg Petrie prays with a Village Missionary during the Cannon Beach Conference.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to spend more time with our DRs! Not having to rush our time together will be such a relief. We also look forward to our congregation spending more time with our DRs, as well. We see it as a great benefit to our ministry to have teaching provided to our members from other leadership who can reinforce what the local missionary is teaching.”
“We think the changes in the DR Ministry are really good. Looking back on our ministry, we have gone through challenges we never imagined facing. And missionaries can also get quite lonely on their fields. So to have your District Reps more available and accessible, to be by your side guiding you through difficult circumstances, is incredibly encouraging. There is also added accountability –they will be better able to help us in our walks with God and in our ministry.”
“The improvements in the DR Ministry will be great for our newer and younger missionaries. They can have a better start on their field because their District Reps can help them establish a good foundation. We are hopeful that the increased availability of the DRs will allow missionaries to keep going and not give up when things get tough.”

The Ultimate Reason

As Assistant Director John Adams ended his presentation to the missionaries, he summarized the reason and heart behind the changes in the DR Ministry:

  • To better support missionaries
  • To serve churches more effectively

So that the gospel will be clearly demonstrated by thriving churches in rural North America.

The ultimate goal is that more people in the forgotten places of our land can hear and experience the good news of Jesus Christ.

All of us here in Village Missions are excited to watch how God will move in big ways in the months and years to come.

If you believe that God is going to do amazing things through these ministry improvements, we hope you will join the action. Your support –by prayer and faithful giving –will help even more of the lost in rural America hear the gospel.

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