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The reshaping of World Mission

World Mission restructured for greater responsiveness and support

May 18, 2012

Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather greet Sudanese

Mission personnel will serve as consultants in support of the area offices, providing them with the information they need to support mission personnel and make decisions. —Photo courtesy of Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mather.

Louisville

Presbyterian World Mission is reshaping itself to become more responsive to global partners and U.S. Presbyterians and more supportive of our mission personnel.

“World Mission’s current role—connecting global partners and U.S. Presbyterians for more faithful involvement in God’s mission—has found strong support among global partners and U.S. Presbyterians because it represents a more effective way of doing mission and gives Presbyterians and global partners a deeper understanding of partnership,” said Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission. “In addition, the General Assembly Mission Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has incorporated a number of World Mission’s concepts and priorities in its overarching plan and many presbyteries and congregations invited World Mission to work more closely with them.”

And several individuals have been moved by the new direction and have made major financial gifts in support of World Mission’s focus on “three critical global issues”: addressing the root causes of poverty, especially as they affect women and children; sharing the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ; and being agents of reconciliation among cultures of violence.

But in order to implement World Mission’s strategic direction fully, Farrell said it has become necessary to restructure the organization to make it less bureaucratic and more flexible, less wedded to slow and sometimes cumbersome processes, and quicker to provide services needed by U.S. and global partners and our mission workers.

This has required both staffing and organizational changes:

  • In order to increase the number of young adults whose lives will be transformed by missional experiences, by 2017 World Mission will triple the number of Young Adult Volunteers participating in the program. World Mission is restructuring the YAV Office to accomplish this goal, will lower the YAV program participation cost, and commit the funding necessary to grow the program.
  • World Mission is restructuring parts of the Equipping for Mission Involvement Office to better connect with our congregations, mission networks and presbyteries, especially through the Mission Connections letters program and two new positions that will serve as “coaches”: one to U.S. Presbyterians who are serious about engaging well in God’s mission, and the other to support mission co-workers so they can communicate more effectively news of how God is working through partners and through their work.
  • World Mission Area Coordinators will now form, with the General Manager and Director, World Mission’s Leadership Team, responsible for the direction of the overall ministry area.
  • The Area Coordinators will supervise a full complement of Regional Liaisons who, after a transitional period of orientation and training, will (together with global partners) provide stronger support and clearer direction for and supervision of mission co-workers.
  •  The International Evangelism and the International Health and Development Offices have performed vital service for decades in the PC(USA)’s mission history. Both offices, after a period of transition, will decrease their role as resource-granting offices, and will increasingly work to inspire, equip and connect global partners and U.S. Presbyterians around the critical global issues of evangelism and poverty, respectively.
  • The Mission Personnel team will serve as consultants in support of the area offices, providing them with the information they need to support mission personnel and make decisions.
  • World Mission will continue the process of consulting with global partners and General Assembly Mission Council partner ministries as it reassesses how it will engage with ministries in 57 countries around the globe.

World Mission’s restructuring goes into effect immediately.

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