It is a great honour and privilege to write my first article as the new International Director of World Outreach International (WOI).
Tribute to John and Mary Elliott
Let me firstly express my profound thanks to John and Mary Elliott for their 20+ years of leadership. I honour them for their: empowering leadership style; pastoral hearts for our field personnel; meticulous financial stewardship; initiative in leading processes that reinvented WOI to maintain its relevance and growth; positioning WOI for leadership succession; and for passing WOI on in such a strong position for the future. To John and Mary, Fiona and I say a heartfelt ‘thank you’.
Discomfort of Change
American author Mark Twain once quipped, ‘The only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.’ Change is uncomfortable, change is unsettling and change can be confronting. With John Elliott transitioning out of his role as International Director, WOI is in a season of change. Some things will inevitably and necessarily change, but, in this short article, I don’t want to focus on what may change, but on what will not change.
Metaphor of a Relay Race
I see vision like a relay race in that the runners change, but the goal never changes. As I begin my ‘leg’ of the ‘race’, let me reaffirm some fundamental things that will not change.
Least-Reached People Groups
Firstly, our vision to ‘impact least-reached people groups with the good news of Jesus Christ’ will not change. This is our compelling end goal: to see least-reached peoples evangelised and discipled, so that they can evangelise, disciple and plant churches among their own people (and other peoples).
Field (Mission) Personnel
Secondly, our commitment to serve, resource, care for and empower our field personnel to be the most effective and fruitful they can be in fulfilling the call of God upon their lives.
Dependence on the Holy Spirit
Thirdly, our indispensable dependence on the strength, guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. WOI is unashamedly a Charismatic/Pentecostal mission, which endeavours to operate by the leading and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
As a mission, we honour and celebrate our godly heritage, we embrace our present position and opportunities, but we are filled with excitement about what the Lord will do as we navigate into the future.
By Bruce Hills