Mission work isn’t always easy to spot. Sometimes we need to look a little closer, even behind-the-scenes, to see the work that’s being done. Administrative work is much like this. We don’t always know the person who is making an impact, but their work is no less important!
In a mission organization like GEM, there is great need for planning, strategizing, and having structure to operate smoothly. With careful planning, missionaries who are sent out can focus on their tasks without the distraction of confusing paperwork, finances, or other logistics that can feel overwhelming.
People like Shirley, Chris, and Anna work behind-the-scenes to lighten the load of their fellow missionaries and help the agency grow in unique ways. There’s no doubt that administrators play a vital role in the spread of the Gospel. “I think the idea of the mission field just needing theologians and Bible teachers is an outdated notion,” Chris states. Whatever skill set God has blessed you with, whether it be in administration or otherwise, there is always room to serve uniquely with your individual expertise. God will use what He’s gifted you with for His glory!
Shirley, now serving in Canada, uses her expertise to help prepare short-term missionaries for their oversea trips with GEM Teams. Chris, serving in Germany, holds several roles including CFO for GEM US and GEM International and chairperson of GEM Germany’s board. Anna, also serving in Germany alongside Chris, helps however she can logistically to ease the workload of her fellow GEM workers.
With the help of admins like these three, GEM has been able to function smoothly and with clarity, showcasing a level of excellence that echoes the Lord’s example of order.
It is through their work that we can confidently donate toward the relief of Ukrainian refugees, knowing our funds are being utilized appropriately. Events like GEM’s Annual Conference can exist to refresh and encourage drained mission workers with the help of detail-oriented people. With help, those feeling God’s call to serve in a foreign land can do so without feeling overwhelmed by the process of getting there. It is through these faithful workers that the expansion of God’s Kingdom is even more attainable!
Their work doesn’t stop at the end of their spreadsheets, though. Knowing they’ve been called to their specific countries for a reason, they’ve intentionally been stepping beyond their desks to impact their communities. “We’re always trying to witness and be in community with our [unsaved] neighbours,” Chris admits, adding that he’s led small groups with students from a local school, and has found involvement in jiu jitsu an ideal avenue for outreach.
“There are things I’m involved in within the community that I see as ministry,” Anna comments, mentioning her involvement with a choir. “I was having trouble getting connected with my church [in Germany]. There’s a lot of crossover between the [choir] and the church, so [joining the choir] has helped me to have some inroads and get more connected there.”
Aside from serving her family while in Canada, Shirley’s pastoral heart shines through as she regularly connects with those in her congregation that haven’t been able to attend church. Within GEM, she helps however she can, which sometimes means leaving the country: “I sometimes go on trips with Teams – about once a year – to help out.”
Each person, with their own giftings and unique purposes, have distinct opportunities to serve the Lord and further His Kingdom. The next time you’re introduced to an individual preparing to serve missionally in an administrative capacity, consider the huge impact they will make! And not just in their field of expertise, but as Christ-carriers within their community!