MTW to Launch Midwest and West Coast Regional Hubs

From remote villages to bustling megacities, MTW has faithfully worked to advance the kingdom of God throughout the world since 1974. Now, MTW is seeking to grow, adapt, and innovate to more effectively reach the world with the transformative hope of the gospel.

In 2016, MTW’s leadership began to challenge every PCA church to mobilize 1% of their members to cross-cultural missions and challenged the organization to prepare for the quadrupling of its missions force that 1% would produce. With that kingdom-driven goal in mind, MTW immediately began developing new strategies aimed at becoming more adaptable and responsive to our increasingly changing national and international context.

To this end, MTW plans to form regional hubs at strategic locations around the U.S. and Canada. The first two hubs, to be launched in fall 2017, will serve the Midwest and the West Coast regions, based in St. Louis and Southern California respectively, extending MTW’s reach and connection to these areas and providing a number of services and resources to their surrounding communities.

“The creation of regional hubs is the result of a reflection that, if God were to answer our 1% prayer, we really wouldn’t be able to support them with our current infrastructure,” said MTW Coordinator Dr. Lloyd Kim. “It is a movement in faith, trusting and believing that God is faithful to answer the prayers of His people. So much of what the hubs are is building capacity for us to recruit, assess, train, and mobilize 1% [of the PCA] for kingdom service overseas.”

The regional hubs will serve as missions mobilization resource bases, promoting opportunities to serve and awareness of the need for international missions in local colleges, churches, and seminaries. They will provide discipleship and mentoring relationships to those who have been identified as potential candidates for foreign missions, facilitating “next steps” as a person moves from calling to becoming a missionary on the field.

A foothold for local partnerships
Additionally, hubs will connect and partner with local churches, universities, and seminaries, hosting conferences and providing training and mentoring resources such as missions toolkits and “Grace, Kingdom, Mission” courses to help individuals and small groups grow in their understanding of living faithfully and missionally both locally and abroad. Hubs will also seek to connect global mission fields to local campus or church groups through bringing in speakers for missions conferences and connecting active missionaries with local groups. In the same vein, they will work to communicate the stories of what God is doing in various MTW mission fields around the world to facilitate awareness and movements of prayer.

“We at Twin Oaks couldn’t be more excited about a Midwest area MTW Hub,” said Twin Oaks Presbyterian Director of Missions Donna Middendorf, citing St. Louis’ rich tradition of mission-sending churches and the presence of Covenant Theological Seminary.

“It has long been our desire to see a connection and communication of global and local mission opportunities launched from this fertile base,” she added.

“Having MTW create a West Coast Hub means so much to the people and churches in southern California,” said Dr. Alex Jun, who serves as a ruling elder with New Life Mission Church in Orange County, California. “It demonstrates MTW’s willingness to expand their ministry as a response to the Holy Spirit’s movement for mobilization. … As all of God’s people tackle the seemingly insurmountable task of increasing missions participation across the nation and around the world, this divide-and-conquer approach is both smart and practical.”

The West Coast Hub, which will begin in fall 2017, will be led by longtime MTW missionary Mike Pettengill, who has served in Central America and West Africa.

“Before spending the last 10 years on the mission field, my wife and I lived in California for more than 30 years,” Mike said. “It is so exciting to be able to return to our longtime home to raise up and train new missionaries to send out into the world.

“The huge mix of cultures and ethnicities on the West Coast provides unique challenges and unique opportunities,” he added. “This is a chance to raise up missionaries with diverse cultural backgrounds and help them go out into the nations to reap the harvest.”

Pursuing a diverse missions force
The establishment of regional resource hubs also fits into MTW’s push to increase the diversity of its global missionary force, a strategy grounded in both the practical and the missiological.

“The demographics of our country are changing,” said Lloyd. “Some say that by the year 2040 there will be no ethnic majority in America. We will literally be a country of minorities. And unless the church and we as a missions agency reflect that, the pool of missionary candidates actually shrinks. We need to be a mission that is able to serve all of our diverse communities: ethnic, generational, regional, and socioeconomic.

“Diversity only helps us overseas,” he added. “It is an apologetic that helps us say that Christianity is not simply an Anglo religion—that the gospel can heal racial strife and socioeconomic and class conflicts. … [Plus], when you have those on your team who come from a different background and language … it helps us expand the scope of who we can reach or with which missions partners we can collaborate. What the hubs will seek to do is recruit and equip cross-cultural workers who are trying to engage these diverse communities in PCA or other partner churches.”

The idea is that hubs will be self-sustainable, balancing their unique local cultures with MTW’s core grace-based and church-driven DNA. They will function as one more piece of the puzzle in MTW’s overarching effort to promote missions in the Reformed Church and equip and mobilize cross-cultural missionaries from around the country. 

Learn more about MTW's regional hubs

Staff in News on Jun 28, 2017

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