BEAMM E4 TEAMS The idea of the BEAMM E4 Teams was born out of approximately nine months of discussions by the BEAMM leadership team. In our meetings we wrestled with ideas presented by Jim Collins in his books, Good to Great and Good to Great and the Social Sectors. In these books, Collins presents the results of a research project that studied good companies that become great companies. In his team’s analysis one of the contributing factors that took these good companies from good to great was the idea of determining their “hedgehog”. The hedgehog concept is taken from the analogy with the animal. This creature only does one thing when confronted by danger; it curls up into a tight ball with its spines sticking outward. In this position the predator cannot eat it. The hedgehog in this sense does not try to do many things well, or even try to get by with mediocre efforts to protect itself, but it does one thing great. Collins and his team were able to identify the hedgehog as one factor that helped organizations become great organizations. The hedgehog concept has three overlapping circles: First, what is our passion? Second, what can we be the best at doing? Third, what drives our resource engine? In this paper we will present our findings concerning. In this paper we will present our findings concerning these three circles as they concern the BEAMM E4 TEAM concept.
Our Passion In our discussions we were able to determine with clarity our passion. As members of the Presbyterian Church in America and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexican and members of the MNA/MTW BEAMM ministry we are unified in declaring that our passion is:
We have love for the sheep and compassion for the lost along the border, calling upon the Lord of the Harvest to mobilize workers for the establishment of church planting movements incorporating mercy ministries.
BEAMM 4E TEAMS This passion statement incorporates two key ideas. One we are passionate about promoting church planting along the border region. We do not want to lose this focus. We cannot conceive of the second circle of our hedgehog apart from this conviction that we should be promoting and encouraging church planting. Second, we call on the Lord of the Harvest to mobilize workers for the establishment of church planting movements. Contained in this prayer is the desire to be used by God to equip others for the ministry.
What We Do Best The second circle in the Hedgehog concept required a much longer time of discussion and interaction, but in June and August of 2010 we came to an agreement that what we can do best, as BEAMM, is to equip others for the ministry of church planting and pastoral ministry. We arrived at this via many hours of discussion, both in meetings and via video conferences. In particular we believe that we can be the best at equipping others in the context of church planting. This concept will supplement and augment the traditional seminary model where the student receives three to four years of theoretical training with some practical ministry experience on the weekends. In the traditional seminary model the theoretical can easily remain an academic exercise. Since the student is usually doing the experiential under the observation of someone who is not teaching them the theoretical they forfeit the useful feedback they could receive from their teacher. Currently, both the Presbyterian Church in America and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico realize that the recent graduates of seminaries using this model require at least a year to several years of supervised internship before they are ready for ordination. The concept that we believe makes better sense and which we believe we can be the best at implementing is to unite the academics with the practical hands on training. We are calling this model the BEAMM E4 Team. These teams will be focusing on church planting and within that context they will be equipping apprentices. By
BEAMM 4E TEAMS God’s grace this will unite the academic knowledge with the practical knowledge and character development of the person. The term E4 is taken from Ephesians 4:11-14. In verse 12, the scriptures state: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” The concept behind the word equip has been amplified by Dan Young who provided the team with a word study on the Greek words katatrizo, katartismos. Mat 4:21 and Mark 1:19 - mend fishing nets Luke 6:40 - fully trained - in the context the disciple when fully trained will be like his teacher. Gal 6:1 - restore the one overwhelmed by sin. 1Tes 3:10 - complete - Paul’s desire is to see the Thessalonians face to face in order to complete what is lacking in their faith. 2Tim 3:17 - equipped - the man of God is fully equipped, finished by the Word of God. These usages point us then to two key characteristics in the idea of equip. One, equipping means mending and restoring that which has been torn or broken. What sin has destroyed Christ the Lord is restoring through his Spirit and His Word. But this equipping (mending, restoring) takes place in the sphere of relationship. God through His Son enters into relationship with us. He makes us his children by His gifts of repentance and faith that enable us to lay hold of Christ. Gal 6:1 states: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” The brother is to be restored in a spirit of gentleness. This implies relationship. It means taking the time to walk with that brother and sister so that they can be restored. Dan Young points out that in this verse, the idea of being caught in any transgression means to be overwhelmed by sin. The idea of one being trapped or stuck as in a bog. They need someone to help
BEAMM 4E TEAMS them up. They will need to learn new ways or habits. It highlights the need for loving accountability. Two, the idea of equipping also takes into account the idea of being fully trained. From Luke 6:40, the disciple is fully trained when he is like his master. As in the case of restoring one overwhelmed by sin, being fully trained also speaks to the need for relationship. This is the concept of equipping that Dan points out is found in Luke 6:40. In order for an apprentice to become like his master, he has to be with this master so that he can observe and practice under supervision. He can be instructed and corrected until he can get it right. The traditional seminary model does not provide this type of on going relationship between the master and the apprentice. Many professions recognize the need for an apprenticeship, but perhaps the clearest comes to us from the field of medicine. How do students learn to become doctors? First they learn medicine by studying - anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, biology, pharmacology, etc. But they donâ€™t really learn how to use this information until they begin to work with patients. They are guided through a series of steps starting in medical school, leading on to an internship and ending in a residency. During this time they are progressively given more and more interaction with patients. First they observe other doctors, later they are allowed to practice under a doctorâ€™s supervision, and finally they are given greater responsibility as a doctor in treating specific areas of medicine. If they just received the information they would remain well educated (information carriers) but would be very poor doctors. They must learn by doing. There are three key elements of an E4 team. They will emphasis church planting, team work and apprentices. These three elements need to be present in order for an E4 team to function properly. The E4 teams will be actively involved in starting new churches. This is one of the core values that we hold as BEAMM members. BEAMM cannot be all things to all people. We have to focus our resources and energies and we 4
BEAMM 4E TEAMS believe that this is God’s plan for his church. Therefore each E4 team will be engaged in a church plant. We believe that the context of starting new churches will be the best possible training ground for the apprentices as it will engage them in every aspect of ministry - evangelism, discipleship, administration, mercy ministries, etc. The E4 teams will stress teamwork. In our discussions it became clear that we appreciate and value team work. The synergy of a team results in an output beyond the sum total of the individual parts. The risen and glorified Christ has poured out on his church the Spirit and the sovereign Spirit gives gifts as He pleases to each member of the church. However, no one individual has all of the various gifts and abilities needed to fully carry out the equipping of others (unlike our Lord). That is why a team is so important to the concept. A team can utilize the various gifts of its members to provide a varied and full orbed training. The strengths and weaknesses of the various team members are balanced by one another. We conceive therefore that each E4 team will be composed of ‘experts’ in their areas such as a Church planter, Evangelist, Administrator, Mercy Ministries, and Educator. However, it is not only a matter of gifting that makes a team necessary and important. Only a team can model team work. The ability to work together towards a common goal, resolve conflicts, experience synergy, and utilize the particular strengths and gifts of each one while counteracting their particular weaknesses is possible as a team learns to work together. Those who came as apprentices can experience these team dynamics as they participate in the team. This concept of teamwork is sorely lacking in our cultures where the lone ranger mentality is prevalent. In our discussions we recognized that for most of BEAMM’s existence the various members of the BEAMM organization have worked together as a very loose team. We have operated like a tennis team where each player plays on his own merit. Now we want to move towards being a soccer team. A team that has to work together in order to achieve its goal. 5
BEAMM 4E TEAMS Therefore the E4 teams will model team work. In this way the apprentices will have an opportunity to work with a group, observing and practicing the skills necessary to effectively work in a team situation in the future. E4 teams will incorporate apprentices into their work. Starting new churches is a core value held by the members of BEAMM; however we must train others who can train others. 2Timothy 2:2 states: “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Paul is talking here about equipping faithful men who will in turn teach or equip other faithful men. This describes a chain of people. But how shall we begin to build this chain of trained men? We will deliberately incorporate apprentices into the team. The E4 teams will intentionality train others seeking to equip them as workmen who can handle the scriptures and are skilled as pastors and church planters. During our discussions the question was asked, “What will make these teams different?” The answer is intentionality. The larger purpose of the E4 team will be to train others who will be able to train others who will train others. Another element that the E4 teams will bring is the manner in which these apprentices will be equipped. In the section of this paper where we discussed the biblical work ‘equip’ from Ephesians 4:12, it was noted that this equipping fully prepares another for ministry. There are three observations that need to be made in this regard. First, the way that we are equipped determines how we will endeavor to equip others. If one’s equipping has been isolated to a classroom (academics) then this will dominate their efforts to equip others. Equipping becomes a class. On the other hand, life-on-life equipping will foster further life-on-life equipping. This is the idea of an apprenticeship. An apprentice learns by receiving the ‘theoretical knowledge’ - in the studies in the scriptures, theology, etc, then by observing others in the ministry, then by working under supervision where they can receive feed back and then working solo. The idea of a chain is very 6
BEAMM 4E TEAMS important because it means those whom we equip today will be equipping others tomorrow and they will do so as they were equipped. Second, what one learns is greatly influenced by the context in which they learn it. Apprentices that are learning systematic theology and then have the opportunity to explain what they are learning to others are likely to find it very exciting to their own spiritual growth while their struggle to explain it to others will motivate them to dig deeper and reveal where they lack understanding. The same can be said for pastoral theology. The opportunity to put it into practice will deepen their learning experience. Likewise, some material cannot really be learned until it is put into practice. To learn how to preach requires that one be preaching, to teach that one be teaching, to evangelize that one be evangelizing. One cannot learn how to lead or grow as a leader by merely reading books. It requires practice and being tutored by another more experienced leader. The final aspect is what Gary Waldecker has termed Covenantal learning. In his work, Toward a Theology of Movement, Gary, has taken great pains to share with fellow MTW missionaries a model for equipping others. He states: “According to Scripture, you can’t really know and understand God’s Word and world unless you obey. Otherwise you just have head knowledge. Furthermore, you can’t obey unless you love. Otherwise you are just going through the outward motions. But further still, you can’t love unless you understand. Otherwise your love will be misguided.” Gary’s observation deserves careful consideration. Biblical learning involves three key aspects of our being: Knowledge, obedience and character. Until these three areas are engaged, real learning is thwarted. We believe an apprenticeship can best implement this concept of covenantal learning. The apprentices will be studying the scriptures, theology and other courses required for ordination by the PCA and the INPM (Iglesia National Presbiteriana de Mexico), but they will be implementing their growing knowledge into their lives 7
BEAMM 4E TEAMS and ministries via the ministry opportunities they will receive under supervision of the same mentors who are teaching them. As they grow in to love God and his people they will have a greater hunger for Godâ€™s word and desire to know more, which will lead them to greater obedience. This is what Gary calls the Spiral Movement. Our prayer is for God to use us to establish a movement of equippers, whose disciples will equip others. We know that we cannot do this in our own strength; neither can we manufacture the results. The Holy Spirit is the only One that can achieve this result. However; we trust that He will be pleased to use our efforts for the Glory of Christ the King.
What Drives our Resource Engine BEAMMâ€™s resource engine is oriented towards donations from individuals and churches. We believe that this new initiative will produce ministry leaders who will be better equipped and enabled to carry on the works of church planting, pastoring, evangelism, mercy ministries and administration. These individuals will be more fully equipped. As there begins to be an avalanche of new workers the process of seeing new churches started and growing across the border should increase not by addition but exponentially. But how can this become a reality? The BEAMM E4 teams will require a greater input initially of financial resources. We anticipate that we will need to provide a minimum salary for the apprentices so that they can dedicate themselves to their preparation. National workers from Mexico will also need a salary in order to be able to give themselves over to the work. Others, such as MTW missionaries, or MNA church planters who need to raise their own financial resources in order to live and work will probably be able to contribute to some of the financial needs of an E4 team. Therefore the BEAMM E4 teams will need a healthy input of financial resources in order to operate. For this reason we will need our current BEAMM 8
BEAMM 4E TEAMS workforce and our partner churches to be aware of this need to raise funds especially for the E4 teams. These teams will be formed over a period of time, starting with Nogales, Mexico, but as the number of teams increase the economic need will grow. There will need to be a commitment of at least 4 years towards the apprentices and 5-6 years for the team members.