The Foundations of Our Friendship

KINGDOM-FOCUSED – focus on building God’s kingdom, not building up earthly organizations,

What we do is “owned” by the whole church and advanced through partnerships.As we work together for children, Kingdom perspective should shape and inspire all our thinking and action. Jesus pointed to and taught (see especially Matthew chapters 5-7) and acknowledge that together we are part of one body under Christ, being and belonging to one church, as we see in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. Acknowledging our interdependence – growing through and learning from one another and discovering strength and blessing by our journey and commitment together. Here we encounter unity, building up the whole body, not our individual organisations, and here we experience God’s blessing, like the precious oil we read about in Psalm 133. We also reflect the reality that ultimately we are ‘jars of clay’ (2 Corinthians 4) each with a shared ‘treasure within’. Together we are invited to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.

GLOBAL – from the whole world to the whole world

Our mission for a Global Church comes from Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go and make disciples of all nations”. The method of achieving it is found in Jesus’ prayer:  “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17: 23 NIV)We need to believe that Jesus’ commission cannot be done in exclusive or separate ways alone. Nor does one context or culture have all the answers necessary for the mission. The diversity in our cultures, churches, ministries and individuals should not be a threat, handicap or obstacle in achieving our mission; rather it can be a stimulant that adds effectiveness and richness to our common global mission. Sharing our faith journey and each contributing from our unique perspective will ensure a vibrant local church in every nation with a heart for outreach. Understanding and utilizing the diverse character of the global church will play a key role in the achievement of a global impact for Christ.

OPEN ACCESS – making resources freely available and accessible by whatever means possible.

Free cost is one aspect and copyright free or copyright released is another.

  • Free and open – everything (thinking, process and product) is openly accessible to all – free of cost and use restrictions. Encourage creative modification, translation and contextual adaptation. To make a massive difference to the ministry to and with children across the world, in many cases, this may be about small and simple paradigm shifts. One of these is the commitment to making the best ministry materials freely available to all who need them.
  • Open Source – this takes open access another step by releasing the source principles, documents and concepts for other to take and build on. It allows for each culture to add, subtract, refine, improve and copy towards the goal of even better, local and contextualized resources to be developed.
  • Anonymous – Experiment with a new approach and to try something not typically done within ministry circles. Take for example, the story of the Feeding of the 5000, where an anonymous gift by a boy is taken by Jesus and multiplied miraculously to feed a whole crowd. We have a crowd of 2.2 billion children needing the Bread of Life and this approach is seeking to create tools that are ‘owned’ by everyone and can benefit every church and agency.

EMPOWERING – equipping the church and its children

As the body of Christ, the local church and children are not only the focus of our work, but also important participants in all we do. We value their creativity and insight and want to encourage and equip them to generate their own ideas, use them to impact their local context and share them with the rest of the world. In Nature, when a seed receives the necessary light, water and other nutrients it is empowered to grow into the type of plant it is created to be and then bear fruit and replace itself. As the church, we are called to empower children to grow and develop physically, spiritually and relationally so that they can be all God intends.Empowerment of children requires intentionality and guidance by those who know God deeply, have wisdom, integrity and experience and are compassionate and open.  In 1 Samuel 3:1 we read: “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli”. Eli allowed little Samuel to minister but made sure that Samuel was always “under” his sight.  He also taught Samuel to relate to God appropriately- “Speak, Lord, thy servant is listening”.  Then Eli accepted the fact that God may relate to children and honoured what he heard from child, Samuel.In 1 Samuel 17:38-40 we also see that empowerment occasionally involves humbly allowing our Davids to get rid of the armour with which we want to equip them (our expertise and methods) and encouraging them to use their own slings and five smooth stones (creative new methods).