Note to YWAMers: please forward the following letter from the Founders' Circle to your staff.
Dear Fellow YWAMer,
The 12 current participants in the Founders’ Circle met in Kona to reflect on our wonderful time in Singapore last September and to bring some clarity on some of the things that happened there. Once again, we relished the memories of God’s presence with us creating a depth of love and trust that enabled us to embrace important changes. The changes we made were for the purpose of spurring us on to “go where we are not.” We realized that our structure of 20-some regions had become too static and that gradual change would not be sufficient. In spite of all the great work already being done, we must dramatically increase our momentum into the empty Omega Zones!
We had been in the process of laying down titles and positions for some years, but these changes brought about the end of most of our old organizational structures. So, does that mean we have no leadership? No, of course not! We still have elders/leaders who act to protect, care for and inspire all of us. John Dawson is writing a letter about that, so do look for it.
We also appointed some conveners. As you know, the primary way we express leadership in YWAM is by convening, or drawing people together, and teaching. So, the conveners who were recognized in Singapore have one main responsibility, and it is a very biblical one“Don’t neglect meeting together!” Conveners are responsible for gathering the YWAM family together in their part of the world. That may be in the form of the whole family in their hundreds, or specific leadership gatherings, or parts of the family gathering around common interests.
To do this well, each convener should draw other elders/leaders alongside them to help. (We always seek to act in teams.) They might also divide their large area into several smaller geographical areas for convening. They should be free to recognize other elders who can convene smaller areas of their part of the world and by that means move toward a much greater number of Area Circle Teams (ACTS). We would encourage elders to step forward and volunteer to be servants as conveners within the ACTS.
Conveners and their teams should be careful to look beyond our geographical operating locations and affirm and encourage area and global initiatives, networks around ministry themes and projects, and apostolic multiplication, as they are vital to the fulfilment of YWAM’s vision. These initiatives always start in some operating location and we should be sure that they are encouraged and honored locally and wherever they grow.
Working with the obvious elders in their part of the world, conveners should be free to recognize other elders. Scripture makes it clear that elders do not recognize themselves, but other elders with clear authority are the ones to “lay hands on” and recognize. Of course, they do this by knowing the people and noting who has that authority and ministry among them. They must also keep the qualifications that Paul gave to Timothy and Titus in mind.
This role of convener is not a new position in YWAM, rather it is a responsibility to act. That responsibility to call the family together should be rotated regularly. One or two years will probably be enough under one convener. When the family is drawn together, seek God’s presence first and foremost; be inclusive so all feel welcome; give voice to what God is saying to the mission as a whole; focus on the “alls and the everys”; encourage every operating location to go “where we are not.”
These are the responsibilities of conveners. They should avoid taking on too much administration and they should not feel they have to sort out all the problems and pastoral needs that arise. Other elders can be assigned to those. Most of all, stay in God’s anointing!
In His Peace,
Lynn Green from the Founders’ Circle