March 2017
Newsletter #18
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Greetings from the Global Steering Team of the GGCN.  It is our privilege to communicate with you in the cause of  seeing every people group reached and in the process of being discipled in our generation, which was the vision of the Tokyo 2010 Global Mission Consultation and the ongoing commitment of the Global Great Commission Network.

In this issue we address the question of outside resources and the concern of unhealthy dependency.  The first article summarizes the feedback and comments of eleven GGCN local team leaders.  A following article by Vicky Warren seeks to format a perspective and a possible healthy way forward in this difficult subject area.

We are also encouraged to report an update of the GCnetwork. We are moving forward with developments that move us much closer to the fulfillment of the original Last Mile Calling proposal and vision from Tokyo 2010.

Our commitment is stronger than ever to see the growth of a grassroots, non-western global network focused on the task of completing the Great Commission.
In This Issue
Outside Resources and Dependency
Another Perspective
GCnetwork Update
Summary - GGCN Updates
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Quick Links
Outside Resources and Dependency - GGCN Local Leades Feedback
One of the issues that the Global Steering Team of GGCN has dealt with involves our commitment to be a global-led and functioning network.  What does that mean?  It means that we strive to incorporate leaders from around the world and to avoid a "western-centric" style.  That remains our commitment, and we continue to make strides in that direction.

As we encourage local expressions of GGCN around the world, it also means that we do not build a network that is dependent upon western funding.  That would not be a desired outcome.  It is also a reality that GGCN does not prioritize fund raising, but rather functions primarily on the contributions of its participants.

It is also true that a core value of GGCN is to connect Great Commission participants from the "whole" church.  That includes agencies and individuals.  That includes churches, western and non-western.  That includes business people, other networks, those who have resources and those who have limited resources, and on and on.  Inherent in our vision is that there should be partnership opportunities for those who are seeking projects or endeavors where their role in addressing funding needs and as encouragers is needed. 

T hat is our vision as we continue to develop a network and to provide tools to enhance the type of collaboration, connection, and communication that will enhance Great Commission endeavors.

At the same time, we are aware of the issue of unhealthy dependency that the mission community continues to struggle with, often with strong opinions.  This was highlighted the September-October 2016 issue of Mission Frontiers that warned about the dangers of creating dependency in our Great Commission endeavors.

We recently solicited feedback on this issue from some emerging GGCN leaders.  Ten responses from Africa and one from India are reported here:

Question 1:  The fact is that dependence on outside funds by local believers on the mission field has a devastating impact on the development of Church-Planting Movements. (9 Agreed and 2 Disagreed)

Question 2:  T he problem is that if outsiders replace local interdependency with global interdependency through subsidizing, we break down the economic engine of the church--the local people's motives and capacity to give, share, and create. (7 Agreed, 2 Disagreed, and 2 other had mixed responses)

Question 3:  Are there ways that outside resources, carefully used, could help build up the dignity of a local community?  All the participants agreed that, yes, there are ways that outside resources are appropriate .  All responses and the full report can be seen here.  Three of the responses follow:

We are created to complement each other in all that we do.  We need each other, not for dependency, but to support one another.  Any foreign resources sent to any local church should rather come as an encouragement.

Interdependence is the key word.  We can't be independent of one another because we are one Body in Christ.

Yes, outside resources are appropriate when the local people are given power to decide which projects the funds must help.

In summary, while there is overall agreement that "dependence on outside funds" can have an overall negative, even devastating impact, the other side of the question that the responders agreed upon is that outside resources can be appropriately used.  The question then seems to be, "How can that be done in a healthy manner"?  The following article gives one perspective.  We'd be interesting in hearing your thoughts at  
Another Perspective - by Vicky Warren
Author Note:  For the past seven years, Vicky has focused full time serving church planters in Asia and Africa in extending the reach of the Gospel through Pioneer Business Planting.  Pioneer Business Planting equips church planters to reach unreached/unengaged peoples through economic, social, and spiritual opportunities in the marketplace.  Her passion for Pioneer Business Planting has led her to focusing on mobilizing the body of Christ to this endeavor worldwide through speaking, teaching, equipping, and advocacy of viable and profitable business for God's glory.  

Outside resources are indeed appropriate when the local people are given power to decide which projects the funds must help.  With that said, we also need to acknowledge the decline in foreign giving and the impact that is having on the sustainability of funding the local church, established programs, and ministries.  The question is no longer do we give or not give, or does giving create dependency, or do we empower the local church to determine how the funds are to be used.  But, the question should be "how do we ensure that the work continues"?
The key to building economic independence in the coming years will require a fundamental shift in the way we approach funding both in the west and the global south; moving from charitable giving to giving with a strategic and intentional purpose - that purpose creating sustainable/growth models that serve the national efforts. 
Together we need to build models that reproduce interest on the initial investment.  Partnering with key strategists, business professionals, and development partners we need to examine strategic pathways for generating funds closer to the effort.   There are opportunities to build healthy reproducing avenues of giving, and it will become a necessity in the near future.  These opportunities include but are not limited to reproducing faith-funds, micro-businesses, micro-franchising, and publishing.
The opportunity for the future is to facilitate these conversations and 'ideation' sessions to identify, document, and advocate on behalf of next generation funding efforts. 
With the increase in sensitivity to toxic charity and dependency giving and the decrease in charitable giving, it is imperative that the mission community re-evaluate its methods of funding whether in the west or the global-south.
There is not only an opportunity to start evaluating alternatives to charitable giving beyond the conventional model of the past decade, but an urgency.  In the for-profit world, this is a common practice; to build long-term strategies into the plan that include both sustainability and growth.  There are many principles that we as a network can glean from these models, but we also need to roll up our sleeves and begin the process of digging deep into our beliefs, and our "we've always done it this way" mentality.
It's time to build a "solutions tank" for funding.  The church is great at relief and community development and now it must build economic investment aptitude through relational capital. 
The opportunity before us is to identify, launch and facilitate cross-pollination of global strategic funding focused on finishing the task of the Great Commission.  Through fervent prayer, revelation from God, extensive research, opportunity analysis and connections, we must expedite intentional and synergistic efforts that strategically allow for generating resources.
A few thoughts on how we might accelerate timelines through facilitating networks and improved methodologies and practices.
Create a development research advisory strategy that includes mission agencies, businesses, professional service organizations, and churches focusing on identifying new and creative sources of funding.
Facilitate global solution tanks that research, document, problem solve, disseminate and publish best practices and future strategic considerations with the intent of facilitating communications and learnings that directly impact the efficient and effective completion of the Great Commission.  
Include focus groups, innovation centers and field research projects. The vision would be to become the integrator of strategic global missions' processes and applications through pioneer strategic international partnerships to serve the community well.
Next steps would include creating a unique funding forum to discuss and identify solutions to critical challenges.  Ultimately, innovation is the driving force behind the next generation of mission funding. Creating a global funding "solutions tank" would allow for active discussions and "solutioning" from a diverse, talented, and creative community. 
Thoughts and responses to this article are welcomed at
GGnetwork Update
As some are aware, the hosting platform that the GGCN has been using for the GCnetwork, our  mission focused social networking tool for the furtherance of Great Commission collaborative efforts, is closing .  (The desktop version is partially down, but postings and information can still be accessed on the mobile app).  We were notified in late 2016 that they would no longer support clients after 12-31-2016.  This added to some of the frustrations that we were already experiencing, especially delays in providing an adequate mobile platform that had been promised us and that we have promised users.  

However, after initial concerns and careful investigation, we now see it as a God-given opportunity to transition to a much enhanced platform.  A much updated GCnetwork is nearing implementation that gives us, among other things:  mobile device compatability, enhanced interface with, our own ownership and potential for long-term enhancements and development, and the use of much more current technology. 

So we are encouraged with this development.  Stand by for an update and a new invitation to participate in the GCnetwork soon.
GGCN is going through needed updates that we feel will much enhance the tools we strive to offer the Great Commission community.  At the same time, we are seeking ways to strengthen and to encourage local expressions of the Global Great Commission Network.  These are emerging in Asia, Africa and elsewhere around the world.  There are challenges, but we feel an urgency to move forward to build GGCN from the ground/local level.  

As always, we invite your questions and your participation as together we seek to be part of a movement to see all peoples discipled in our generation.
In His Mission,
David Hupp
Global Great Commission Network - Global Steering Team