Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5
After implementing two “aggregated” country and regional projects, I began to consider the possibility of working with Christian foundations to bring together multiple ministry partners in a collaborative and coordinated approach to healthy churches planted and multiplied among unreached people groups. Ideas had already been considered and papers had been written on a possible “end-to-end” strategy, but these efforts had been limited in scope. They spoke of Scripture engagement, video outreach (primarily through The JESUS Film), and initial church planting, but Scripture and script translation (along with prayer mobilization and the other core missionary tasks of discipleship and leadership development) were not considered. It seemed to me that what was needed was an external ministry that could coordinate and facilitate a multi-sectored, multi-partnered approach that would under-gird and strengthen the emerging indigenous church.
About this time a friend invited me to dinner and he also invited Paul Schultheis (the Sr. Managing Partner of SRG) to join us. Keep in mind that I had been thinking of working with foundations and knew that SRG was attempting to implement a broad scale approach to UPGs in the Greater Middle East. At dinner, I asked Paul about their UPG Initiative and then asked who was going to run it for them. His reply was not what I expected to hear, but it was certainly what I had hoped. He said, “I was hoping it would be you.” Of course, I was helping to lead the Issachar Initiative and loved the team with whom I was working and thought that this would be a great next step once all the “unengaged” groups had workers … a transition could occur. As it turned out, other leadership didn’t share that vision and by April 1, 2018 I became independent of any organization and needed to form my own. By August 1st, POPE Initiatives was a reality.
In my next post, I will begin to identify some “big rocks” in a project management approach.