An early employee used this description one time when asked what we did in ministry. It’s not terribly informative to others, but for those of us on the team at T4 Global, it does resonate in our hearts. In many ways, our work is complex. We seek to enable indigenous leaders to be even more effective at developing communication strategies in the mother tongue of the people they are attempting to reach. Therefore we act as coaches or consultants on how to create this strategy, develop the information in a way it will be most clearly understood, assist in the recording of the information (stories, songs and dramas), and guide the distribution of digital devices that hold all this information. We shepherd the indigenous leaders through the process and help them in any way possible. There is shepherding through a process and then there is spiritual shepherding. We don’t claim to have the corner on spiritual wisdom. But, we do have spiritual training that allows us to truly partner with our in-country leaders to discern what is the best way to understand the culture and then select appropriate Biblical Truth to address that culture. This doesn’t put us in a superior position – but one of true partnership for the Gospel.
You will notice the word process. A process implies a timeline – a goal to reach in order to make an impact. Is it good missiology to have a timeline? Africans, for example, have a saying “you Americans have watches, but we have time”. We would argue that time is against this world. We believe there is not much time left to get our assignments completed. At T4 Global, we seek to be culturally sensitive and yet work to develop a sense of urgency if that is necessary in the given culture of the program.
Cross-cultural shepherding with a timeline. A heart to serve with a responsibility to reach the lost before it is too late.