Friday, December 17, 2010

How Small Ministries Can find Partners to Do Big Things- The 755 Network

If a ministry looks at it's calling and resources in three ways,

(1) - Pick one of 7 Categories of how they intend to influence the world for God's kingdom,
(2) - Pick one of  5 areas of  Christian Saturation where they intend to serve, and
(3) - Pick one of  5 roles they are called and willing to play

 the organization can make good decisions about what kinds of work projects they want to engage in, and who they should partner with. If a number of small groups do this together, they become - a 755 network.

A Real Life Case Study:

Banda Ache and the Tsunami

Its January, 2005, Lewisville, Texas, two days after the worst tsunami in living memory devastates the Banda Aceh region of Java, Indonesia. Reporters on the scene said the area resembled pictures of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb. Seven waves 75 to 100 feet went 30 miles Inland, contaminating every fresh water source with sea water, debris, and what ever was in the warehouse of several chemical plants that were washed away in the path of the waves. This was also a place that had been closed to the gospel.

A missionary from a nearby region, in Texas on furlough, called a contact in Banda Aceh. “All the drinking water sources are gone” they reported. “Bottled water is being brought in, but it's going to take months to rehabilitate all the water sources. We need a solution now.”

The missionary contacted a small ministry that specializes in drinking water situations in support of mission projects, with water engineers on staff. A kingdom business offered a conference room and computers for the project. An informal project team formed. After an initial assessment, the engineers and contacted another specialty water purification manufacturing ministry in South Carolina that makes equipment that met the Banda Aceh situation needs. Now that the team knows the costs, a large denominational ministry goes about raising the funds. Finally, space is found on an aircraft chartered by a different international NGO that will pick up the equipment and get it sent to Banda Aceh. The missionary goes to South Carolina for training on the equipment, and then leaves for Indonesia to set up and operate the equipment.

This all takes place in about three days.

The project team formed for this project had a missionary, a denominational mission organization, a kingdom business, two small water ministry specialty organizations and an international NGO. As soon as the missionary, now a water purification system operator, joins the water purification systems in Indonesia, the project team is disbanded, and the organizations never worked together again.

This situation shows as emerging partnership model, and suggests a way to create a partnering framework for the next phase of global ministry so that projects like the one above can happen more often. I call it the 755 network.

The 755 Network

In it’s simplest form, the network is made up of many different sizes and kinds of organizations, each of which has identified themselves along three Dimensions:

• Molders of culture ( 7 Parts of the culture the group intends to address-How they intend to serve)
• Waves of gospel saturation (5 progressive waves of Gospel saturation-Where they intend to serve)
• Five Charters (5 Kinds of organizations-What role they serve )

The framework is based on based on observation of what God appears to be doing already, suggesting some additional structure.

Three Dimensions

Each ministry that participates in a 755 network conducts a self-assessment along these three dimensions. They can identify where their ministry organization exists in relation to other members of the network.

The First Dimension: Where does your ministry intend to reach out to influence the culture, wherever in the world you serve? The seven part of the 755 frame work, listed below, appears to have been originally provided by Bill Blass and Loren Cunningham of YWAM and Bill Blass of Campus Crusade for Christ.
• Religion
• Government, Law, medical
• Media
• Family
• Education
• Business
• Arts and Entertainment

The Second Dimension:
Where does your organization’s Ministry Passion focus among these five transformational Waves?
• The first wave is the Seeding wave- Pioneering, possibly Hostile (Somalia)- 2nd Antioch Church; Acts 17, Matt 28:18-20
• The second wave is the Soaking wave- A Foothold is established (Nigeria, China ).Ephesians 6: 4-5
• The third wave is the Spreading wave- Spreading to the entire local area of influence (Fiji, Mexico –The Church at Corinth).
• The fourth wave is the Sharing wave- Sends Missionaries (US, South Korea, South Africa)(First Antioch Church, Acts 14)
• The fifth wave is the Securing wave- The work to reseed countries with declining Christian Influence (Europe, The church At Ephesus).

The Third Dimension:
What gifting and resources has God given your organization, and whom has he called you to serve?
1.  Mission Project Coordinator: God has given you a vision for a specific mission to a specific area, and you may already have a local ministry Partner, but you may not know how to get it done.
2.  Catalyst  has your team done a lot of different projects and have a lot of Contacts but not Workers?
3.  Workers- Does your group do a a lot of mission trips together, are a church looking for a ministry opportunity and you just want to serve?
4.  Resource - Does your group have assets, skills, training, tools, funding, or other resources you want to use?
5.  Local Ministry- Are you a globally local church or ministry with a special need?
This is related to, but not the same as mission project roles we will describe later. For example:

That’s it...

So How to I set up a 755 Network?

Conferences: Picture a conference where conference sponsors send out a short 755 Network questionnaire ahead of time

an example Attendee wears a badge like this:

Name- Orion Banda
African Christian Fellowship International
• Domain – Religion
• Wave – Second Wave-Foothold
• Role- Local Ministry


Name-Jane Smith
Aviation Missions International
• Domain – Across 7 Domains
• Wave - First and Second Wave
• Role – Aviation and technology Specialists


Name: John Doe
Kingdom Travel
• Domain- Across Church, Business, Govt.
• Wave –Specialize in First and Second Wave
• Role- Travel/Visa Specialist

How it can work:

1. Setting up Conferences and inter-ministry events:
You set up conference with 3 sessions, each offered 3 Times:  

-Session 1 For everyone In the Same Domain (religion, government, media, business, etc) 
                 Topic: lets compare best practices
-Session 2 For every Transformation Wave (for example (Europe/North America) together,
                 (Somalia, Pakistan, Japan)
                  Topic: What Ministry Strategies work best in our areas?
- Session  3  For Every Role:  (Local Ministries, Catalysts, Mission Project Coordinators)
                   Topic: How do we reach out to find other small ministries?

Seating at meals is always role cross-functional : 

The networks will develop naturally under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

2.  Setting up a project 

     Using this framework, Like the Banda Aceh Project, a  Mission Project Coordinator and Local Ministry might hunt down a Catalyst who could help them structure their project, point them in the direction of  workers and resources for the project.

3.  Assessing a current Project that may be meeting resistance? 
     What parts of the Framework are missing?


The 755 network is ministry strategy that facilities the partnering of diverse ministries of variable size to work together on mission projects of short to long duration. The network itself can be formal or informal. The frame work works best when an organization member, after assessment, self identifies along three dimensions. Armed with this understanding, they can operate in the network to find the right kinds and quantities of other mission organizations to develop relationships and later to possibly partner with for a mission project.

There will likely be many 755 Networks for different sizes and emphasis, formal and informal of short and long duration. Finally, there are still issues to be explored, including creating partnership agreements and internal conflict resolutions processes.

Next: Now that I have my 755 Network, what's next?

Then: Once a 755 network emerges, How do I manage and grow it?

Lee Royal
Editor, Enterprising Ministry