Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mibu MCM evaluation

The last few days (Friday thru Monday) have been jam packed with hanging out with the Mibu people and meeting together with two of our church planting consultants.
In case you're wondering what "MCM" means, it's Mature Church Model. We have a model, slash outline, of what we see a mature church looking like. It is what we strive to leave behind here when our work is done here. The purpose of this weekend's visit by our consultants was to measure our efforts against this model and to provide encouragement for the future growth of the church here.
So we spent tons of time with the Mibu people just hanging out talking to them, asking questions and listening and discerning their hearts in regard to many things regarding God's work in them as individuals and as a community. It was a fun and encouraging time. We all even stayed the night down in Mibu one night so we could keep on talking.
I thought I'd share a couple things that happened that were kind of cool and couldn't have been timed better. These aren't things that the people did to show off, but were just things that came naturally, which is what made the timing so great (with the consultants here to see it) and is what made the incidents stand out as so cool.
The first day, we were just sitting around in Keteng's little haus win (an open house with no walls). We were just sitting around talking about the church and sharing stories. A couple of the Mibu guys were asking our consultants about the work in the tribes that they'd done in the past. At one point they asked them about the songs which their people sang to worship God, which they shared. Afterward a couple of the Mibu guys sang some of the songs that they'd made up to worship God. What was really cool is that their wives, and a couple of their daughters, who weren't really involved in the conversation, and who were sitting on the other side of the yard, making their bilums just kind of spontaneously joined in the singing, clapping their hands and singing with the guys. It was just really awesome to see the spontinaeity of the moment that seemed to have not arisen from their desire to look good (I don't think they realized how good it looked, really) but just from their joy and desire to praise God.
Sunday morning. We'd just woken up after staying the night in Keteng's house and were sitting around the fire pit talking. There was going to be a church meeting in a few hours so we were all waiting for the start of that. While we were talking one of the teachers who was slated to talk, and who happens to be a fairly new teacher in training (Samson), came in and sat down next to Sesi and it became obvious to me that he was looking for help to understand something about the point in the lesson that he was going to teach on. I watched in silence as he opened up his book on the floor and asked Sesi some things. Sesi took a little bit of time to explain something to him and then about 10 minutes later, he quietly told me that the two of them were going to leave and that he'd see me at the church meeting. When I asked him, he verified my suspicion that they were going to a quieter place where he could work with Samson through his teaching point. Discipleship in action! What was so cool about this is that Samson didn't even seem to give a thought to having me, the resident, all-knowing whiteskin be the one to explain things to him. It was the most natural thing in the world for him to just go straight to Sesi for help. Perfect! This was a perfect sign of a healthy sense of ownership to see that the default, even in the situation where it would seem easier to go to the missionary for answers, was to go to one of their own, more mature brothers for help. Again, this didn't happen so as to show off. I don't think they realized the importance of what they were doing and/or the perfect timing of it. It happened so casually and quietly that I only happened to notice and had to later tell the consultants what had transpired while they were talking to the others in that house.
This was an encouraging weekend for us because we're not always walking around with our evaluative senses on alert. This weekend was a good weekend to focus just on that and try to see things as our consultants might be seeing them. Definitely a good exercise!

No comments: