harnessing the power of photography for good

kicking the pot over!!

i may like to push the envelope occasionally, but im far from controversial, im pretty harmless.  rob bell on the other hand…i dont care if you despise rob bell or if you think hes the best thing since the polaroid camera.  a little debate never hurt anybody and its good to think.

rob bell

the problem is when we sheep start following different shepards (pastors/teachers) and we start to stop thinking for ourselves.  i was talking with dave miller recently about this issue of folks not having friends with differing viewpoints…be it political, philosophical or theologically speaking.  if we engulf ourselves in the “church” of nikon (or canon) and arent willing to listen or entertain viewpoints from the supposed “dark-side” we end up limiting our own growth and creativity…photographically speaking, and thats a shame.

speaking of “photographically speaking,” (hows that for a segue), david duchemin has just announced his newest book will be out this year, around august.  the working title is photographically speaking: creating better photographs through visual language.  you can learn more about david and this upcoming book at his blog.

so back to rob bell…the issue at hand in a overly simplified way is that of heaven and hell, eternally speaking.  there are obvious comparisons some may draw in the camera world in regards to what camera you use and how that might determine your final resting place, but seriously…i will leave that up to others to debate, i know where my eternal security rests, and thats in Jesus alone!

i was talking with some friends recently about impact 195 and in keeping with the theme of this post, we started debating the merits of impact and its “effectiveness” in “training and equipping world changers.”   ive seen impact 195 up close & personal and have friends who are in impact or have “graduated” from the impact 195 program.   i share my thoughts on impact because i know others have pondered these same questions…

dave miller, director of Adventures in Life and friend of Mission-focused, recently posted on his blog “After 21 Years, A Long View of Short-Term Mission”

he shares some good insights on short term missions…which made me think of impact 195.  my simple question, that i believe needs to be asked…is sending 15 or 20+ impact students to haiti or the philippines or wherever, at mucho $$ dinero for 10 days or 2 weeks, the most effective use?  the experiences are real and certainly valuable, especially when your trying to train folks and give them a “taste” of missions…but, using the example of haiti, the question is could the local church/missionaries do more with the  $10,000-$20,000 dollars (im guessing at the $$ amount) it costs to send folks there to minister… than the help they received from the students?  im not sure what the answer is.  as dave mentions in his post, there are some short term missions that are more effective than others, and it comes down to relationships.  would it be more profitable to establish a “mission” stateside that students could go to and live amongst the folks, minister, pray, share, live with those they are ministering to.  i believe that if impact students come every few months, year after year to these same folks, relationships are gonna be built, trust earned, and divine appointments to share the Good News are gonna happen, because of these relationships that have been built over the years…

its just a scenario i throw out.  bottom line is we need to examine everything we do and ask, “is it the most effective way to share and live out Jesus?”

having gone down to oaxaca several times now, ive asked the question im asking of myself.  the thing im learning from my observations and listening to missionaries who are on the “front lines” of ministry in oaxaca, is that what works in the states doesnt always work in oaxaca.  of course the natural question to ask is “why?”  theres no simple answer only that the u.s. church has methodologies, practicums, studies, surveys…you name it, that has told them that the most effective way of ministering cross-culturally is to do “this or that.”

the problem is that the u.s. church doesnt always ask the local pastors and missionaries what they think.  we, the u.s. church, have a tendency to do what we think is best.  or as dave has put it, and i paraphrase…the u.s. church sees what works in their church, so it must be good for the church in mexico.  so what ends up happening is the u.s. church comes and does their thang for a week or so, and rolls out…often leaving the local church and missionaries to have to “undo” what just happened.  i wish this was the exception, but again as dave said, there are some good and some bad short term missions out there.

this isnt a 1 and done topic, and im not the first to talk about this and there are some good reads on the topic of cross-cultural missions, i will share more on that later.

as for the topic of the impact of impact…well, lets talk about it.

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