By Tory Ruark
Short-Term Mission Coach for DELTA Ministries International
Synergy. This is a buzz word in the business world today, but how many of us have anything more than a vague feeling of what it means. According to Merriam-Webster, synergy is “the increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together.” As I think about it, this is exactly what we love about Mission ConneXion Northwest (MCNW)! We often sit in our meeting rooms talking about marketing and promotion and turn the Great Commission into a competition—we forget that together we are better.
This is why we love participating in MCNW. Sometimes we get to be the expert and share our valuable knowledge and experience. We like being a contributor to something bigger than ourselves. While much of this is a free contribution, we often find that we meet people who want what we do. We have had the privilege to use short-term mission trips as the context to disciple people into missionaries around the world and in their everyday world. All of this because someone attended a seminar or stopped by our table.
Yet MCNW is not all about what we can give. There are times when we’re the practitioner learning from the expert. We’re better due to MCNW and working together with other like-minded followers of Jesus. Workshops offered by MCNW throughout the year cover a range of topics like raising financial support, reaching out to people of other faiths, church leadership, training up children and students in developing hearts for mission and service, and how to care for missionaries on the field.
We often use a phrase, “greater than the sum of all its parts,” that is actually impossible. It’s what makes perpetual motion machines impossible and relationships so difficult. The sum can never be more than the parts. However, as Jesus famously said, “what is impossible with man is possible with God.” While gatherings without God simply multiply and magnify our flaws, with God, it is possible for our imperfect organizations to become something greater than our parts. We hope that you will participate in Mission ConneXion Northwest—not just for what you will get out of it but for how the whole mission community will benefit.