The EFCA ReachGlobal Crisis Response annual gathering, known as Personal and Team Development or PT Dev, is held to allow the team members of Crisis Response an opportunity to learn new skills and refresh existing skills. Just as importantly, it is an opportunity for the members of Crisis Response to gather as a team in one location to worship, meet new members, and strengthen relationships. PT Dev 2023 was a time of good worship, prayer, teaching, friendship, and food.
Each day begins with a time of worship, devotion, and prayer. Individuals volunteer to lead the team and it is a time of solemn and joyous reflection. It allows the team to start each day with a focus on our true purpose as missionaries.
The first day focused on taking care of ourselves and one another in order to be healthy. We recognize that God is big enough to handle both our joys and our struggles. And we spent time developing strategies to help celebrate with those that are celebrating and mourn with those who mourn. The events of this day allowed for a study of the art of lamenting and prayer for each other, as well as alone time to pray for the joys and struggles of our lives. The day closed with a shared meal after a day of fasting.
The next three days of PT Dev 2023 followed a pattern that is part of the organizational ethos: Develop, Empower, and Release (DER). The DER pattern of building team members and teams is central to Crisis Response as it deploys teams to different areas.
Developing a sustainable Crisis Response Ministry. Developing a ministry organization must include ways to ensure that the ministry can thrive and continue to grow. This day was a look forward at the strategies and trends for Crisis Response and for individual missionaries. Topics included tools for building and strengthening ministry partner development, the organizational structure and future of Crisis Response, initiatives to reach out to EFCA churches, and a discussion of ideas and efforts to recruit new members of the Crisis Response team.
Empowering our staff and ministry partners to serve in healthy rhythms. Just as each crisis is unique, each response will be unique. A flexible and strong team must feel empowered to adapt to the needs and challenges presented at each response location. The discussions included a presentation from our response partners in Pakistan and a panel discussion including leaders from some of the Crisis Response past and present sites. Other topics presented and discussed: conflict resolution, avoiding compassion fatigue and burnout, communication within Crisis Response, and empowering church partners from the beginning of a response. The day closed with a communal dinner and a game night.
During the Develop and Empower sessions there were a couple of challenging team building exercises. No blindfolds were harmed during the exercises and all participants were returned to their upright positions.
Released to continue in ministry. The last day of prepared presentations ended with focused ministry meetings. The focus of this day was release, the culmination of developing and empowering. There were two different discussions: releasing staff that has been empowered and released to try new things. These presentations presented bold leadership ideas that focus on people and the ability of Crisis Response to affect and reach people for the gospel. The Trauma Care, Communications, Prepare, and Lead teams all met to discuss future activities and plans in light of all this training.
Each day the team was joyfully fed by the founders of Crisis Cafe, Phil and Rita Schounard of Green Bay, WI. We loved the chance to reconnect with our friends who have served many times over the years, and had the opportunity to pray for their new ministry. One of the joys of PT Dev is the opportunity to invite and connect with ministry partners, to share in how God is moving in and through them as well as through our ministry.
All good things come to an end. No, that’s not completely true. Some good things come back around, like PT Dev coming back in 2024. Consider ways to join Crisis Response and find out how much fun and opportunity you’ve been missing. We have full time and part time roles, both remotely and on sites, mostly domestic and some international opportunities. If you have a desire to share the love of Christ and you don't see a role that's quite right, email us so we can talk about how you might fit within out ministry.
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