Monday, July 25, 2022

No Autopilot allowed - S4P Reflects and Moves Forward

Let’s begin this post with a vocabulary word. Today’s word is “autopilot.” For our use, we won’t be talking about the Merriam-Webster definition meaning an actual device used for automatically steering ships, aircraft, and spacecraft. Although that’s totally cool, and self-driving cars sound AMAZING! We’ll be talking about the state or condition in which activity of behavior is regulated automatically in a predetermined or instinctive manner. This is not a word that comes up a lot when talking about Sowers4Pastors. That’s because they don’t believe in going on autopilot to operate their ministry. They are as far removed from being on autopilot as my 2010 Ford Fusion is from being a self-driving car.

To prevent slipping into autopilot, the people behind S4P spend a lot of time praying and reflecting. In fact, they’ve spent the past 6+ months in an intensive time of reflection. They’ve asked themselves all kinds of existential questions including: What is our primary reason for being in Honduras? What are the secondary reasons? Are we spending so much time focusing on accomplishing good things that we don’t have enough time for focusing on the best things? Sowers4Pastors has not changed their goals. They are now, and have always been, about empowering indigenous pastors to evangelize, and spread the Gospel in their communities.

There was a time when S4P was getting a lot of requests to help build bridges, work on roads, and help with other municipal projects. Those are good things. No one is saying that they were wrong to work on those projects. But that was before the sponsorship programs. Time is at a premium now and Allen & Trish want to be sure the ministry stays focused on the things that have the highest impact on empowering pastors. They are also mindful of being the best stewards of their resources.

They strive to work with the pastors who are most motivated to spread the Gospel. That doesn’t mean they only work with the pastors who are planting the most churches. S4P is interested in each pastor’s heart. They want to work with people with a sincere love of God and a desire to pass that love on to their congregations. It’s important that the pastors care about the people they are serving. As a ministry, Sowers4Pastors tries to hone in on putting their effort and resources where they will make the biggest impact. Always.

Allen is a numbers guy, so it’s not unusual to read a post talking about a specific number of motorcycles provided to pastors. Or a specific number of backpacks given to children. But it’s important to remember that those numbers are all a part of a bigger plan and focus. Sowers4Pastors recently produced a new version of their ministry overview video. Take a look at it as well as the ministry overview documents. The documents will provide you with the numbers. This post is about providing you with insight into their motivation.

The Sowers family has no plans to pack up and leave Honduras. But they have always recognized the importance of looking ahead and planning for the unexpected. If they ever have to leave because of an illness, political uprising, or economic catastrophe, they want to be sure that the work they’ve done will continue to make an impact. The Bibles they have given out will still be in the hands of people in Honduras. A good number of motorcycles provided to pastors will still be out there and running. Churches will still have roofs. Pastors who have gone through training school will still have that training.

The ministry is looking to employ some upper-level Honduran staff members. They are seeking what Allen calls “Honduran missionaries” – people called to reach and empower pastors. They are also open to the possibility of employing a N. American couple, too. Sowers4Pastors is still growing. They recently added another sponsorship center through a sister church. Even as the economy is worsening, S4P is looking for ways to strengthen itself... and, God willing, even grow!

Trish emphasized, “We are trying to make sure we are looking ahead, looking around us, and looking to God. We are also realizing that our resources have been reduced and they may be reduced even more. But God has always been faithful and we have had the resources we needed when we needed them.”

- posted by Christi

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