MORE NETWORK BLOG

Thank you for visiting us! Please find our latest blog right below and the rest of them at the bottom of the page, organized chronologically. Enjoy!

 

ByPaul Dyck on Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Ministry at the Speed of Relationships

Paul Dyck By Paul Dyck on Tuesday, May 30, 2023

 

Building relationships is the first and foremost thing we should be about - everything else comes out of relationships.

Building relationships with people from other cultures is so important, as humor; lifestyle; values; and beliefs are so different to ours, and don’t translate well. Living next to, and working with other nationalities, requires relationship.

Jesus taught us that building relationships is the greatest and most important thing we do - no strings attached.

When a scribe approached Jesus and asked him: “’Which commandment is the most important of them all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” -Mark 12:29-31 (ESV)

So why do I need to build relationships? What’s in it for me? That’s a great question! Thanks for asking!

Relationships ARE the greatest gift God gives us.

God smooths off my rough edges by being around others. He draws me to my knees in prayer, as I seek His love for people around me. As I pray, I grow spiritually and relationally, and amazingly, I become quite fond of those around me.

Jesus, when calling his disciples to a specific task, never said “go it alone!” He valued the gift of team. He sent them out “two by two”. A lot of the time they were together as 13 men and a group of women. We need each other! Our experience within the MORE Network is a beautiful illustration of that!

I love how “The Chosen” series so beautifully illustrates the difficulty experienced by the disciples as they learned to live together in community. Working and living in team is some of the hardest work we do.

Recently, as I was visiting Pastor Daniel Raju in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh (India), I heard him share the level of importance he placed on relationships. He visits five of his church families a week in their homes - praying for them, encouraging them, and getting to meet their neighbors. All this while leading a ministry of 85 church planting pastors. The outcome? More and more people come to Christ.

You cannot have a relationship with someone until you get to know them. 

Over time, trust develops. As trust develops, so does community. 

Relationships ARE the greatest gift God gives us.

Relationships are not an end to a means.

I must love people for who they are, NOT for what they can do for me. Jesus said that he "did not come to be served, but to serve" (Matt 20:28).

How do we build deep and meaningful relationships?

We walk in humility. When God places us in a position of influence, we don’t get all proud. He hasn’t placed us there for our reputation, but for us to accomplish His purpose. God uses relationships in our lives to shape us, build and improve us, and strengthen us for service.

We forgive others. We don’t allow hurts, betrayal, and being wronged, to annihilate relationships. That’s just the evil one seeking to kill and destroy. Unfortunately, Satan has been quite successful in this area.

To build a deep, meaningful, and lasting relationship in everything we do, we:

  1. Rely on the Lord to lead us to the right people, often through an introduction by a mutual friend.
  2. Make the commitment to build relationships in person where possible! Virtual is helpful, but ultimately it must be in person!
  3. Have a solid reason for meeting … usually a common goal.
  4. Readily acknowledge we cannot accomplish the task God gives us by ourselves. We need to do it together.
  5. Build trust with people. This usually takes years. Building trust is accelerated when we have no selfish hidden agendas.
  6. Never compete with each other. Seek to join others. Go to where God is already working.
  7. Approach people with a humble and forgiving spirit. 

And remember, relationships are not an end to a means.

How to Build Amazing Relationships

Accept people for who they are, NOT who we think they should be.

Here’s how to build amazing relationships …

“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best,

Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” -1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (MSG)

What does this mean? It means, in my relationships, I don’t find fault with people. If something appears bad, I still think the best of them, I see the good in them.

It means I don’t try to change others to my values, nor do I try to save them. Only God does the changing and the saving.

It means I should be content with who God has called me to be and the place he has called me to be in.

“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” -1 Peter 5:6-7 (MSG)

Always build relationships. Not for your reputation. Not so that you can get something out of them. It’s never for your reputation. It’s always for God’s reputation.

We are to surrender our wills to God every morning, inviting him to make the decisions for us. Find out what he wants us to do today, and do it. We’ll never regret it.

And when, in those relationships, we’re hurt, betrayed, abused, and disregarded … forgive! Don’t get bitter. Wait on the Lord. He will at just the right moment, deliver us.

“Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.” – Romans 12:16 (MSG)

Treat people the way you want to be treated.

“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.” – Galatians 6:1-3 (MSG)

Ministry at the Speed of Relationships

What does “ministry at the speed of relationships” mean? It means enjoying the work God has called us to, while in relationship with the people he has called to work with.

“So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” -Romans 12:1 (MSG)

God always has an assignment for us. The assignment is usually far bigger than we would dare to tackle on our own. Typically, it’s impossible. That’s usually an indicator that God is up to something, and he wants us involved.

God sets us up for good. Our role is to obey him, to delight in him, to anticipate his great work in and through us.

Remember:

  1. God has called us into relationship with HIM! It’s all HIS idea.
  2. God gives us relationship with others, for his glory!
  3. We are to live as Jesus lived, and love as Jesus loved, with those we have relationship with.

Every one of us are nobodies, until God call us to Himself, and places a clear calling on our lives.

Isn’t that what we’re called to do?

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20


Paul Dyck is the former National Team Leader and now an Ambassador for the MORE Network - a Canada-wide collaborative supporting cross-cultural workers & MKs (Missionary Kids) in transition. Paul fills the role of Ministry Ambassador and Champion across Canada, working with church & mission leaders involved with caring for cross-cultural workers & MKs. Paul is an MK and has experience in Member Care, Pastoring, Banking and Business Leadership. Paul & his wife Carol life in Abbotsford, BC.



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Did you miss our past blogs? Check them out below!

 

5 Ways to Pray for MORE Network in 2024

At the MORE Network, the key verse we’ve chosen for 2024 is Exodus 33:14: “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

Prior to this verse, God had told Moses to lead the Israelites to a land flowing with milk and honey but that He would not go with them. In response Moses says in verse 15, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.”

Just as Moses did not want to go forward without God, neither do we in the MORE Network. Not only do we want God to direct us in the way we should go in 2024, but we also want His presence to go with us.

Here are 5 Areas of Prayer for the MORE Network in 2024! 

Read more...

Lament of a Returning Missionary

Loosely based on Psalm 13, here is a prayer of lament of a returning missionary. 

How long, Lord, will I miss our former HOME where I sobbed in frustration and prayed, pounding on heaven’s door to learn language(s) & culture, and how to buy food and learn to survive, let alone thrive? ...

 

Read more...

Christmas Memories from Around the World

Watermelon, Handprints and Fireworks ... What do they all have in common? They are all elements of favourite Christmas memories and traditions from our MORE Network staff, from around the world! 

Read more...

Deeply Rooted

We invite you to join us during this season of generosity so that, together, we can give Missionary Kids and their families the opportunities to experience a richer soil in Christ and broader branches in community. 

Read more...

The Eternal Benefits of Debriefing

I recently returned from RE-VIEW, a week-long family debriefing retreat, where I served as an adult facilitator and debriefer.

While there, I had the honour of hearing the stories of missionaries who have worked in the overseas ministry context for many years. And boy, did I feel inadequate for the task as some of them had faithfully served a lifetime, having much more cross-cultural experience than I have and the wisdom that accompanies such incredible life experiences.

But what struck me the most and motivated me all the more to listen, was that many of these seasoned missionaries never had the opportunity to actually share their full stories with anyone – that is their deeply personal and valuable stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. And that’s really a reflection and a limitation of our modern missionary movement; missionaries often feel obligated to share only the positive experiences and their successes, lest they be judged or misunderstood, or worse, lose vital financial or personal support...

Read more...

Bonds Beyond Borders: The Impact of ReBoot on MKs

There is something so beautiful about the quick bonds that form between MKs (Missionary Kids), who understand each other despite having drastically different life experiences. It’s like a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by people who have gone through similar life experiences. It helps you to share on a more honest and intimate level.

Each year, the MORE Network runs Classic ReBoot, a re-entry retreat for missionaries’ kids (MKs) aged 17-20 returning to life in Canada. This is a crucial time in the lives of these young adults, many of whom are not only adjusting to a new culture, but also to new schools, jobs, relationships, and living situations.

In this article, Malik, shares about his own experience at Classic ReBoot, as well as an inside scoop from attendees of the most recent Classic ReBoot!

Read more...

Adult Third Culture Kid Research: The Heart Behind the Research

This summer, we had the privilege of connecting with Shelly Lyons about her research on Adult Third Culture Kids. Listen in to hear more about the “heart” behind the research and her big picture dreams for how it will be used! 

Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCK) are adults whose lives were shaped by mobility and cross-cultural experiences during their childhood. According to Merriam Webster, a “Third Culture Kid (TCK)” refers to "a child who grows up in a culture different from the one in which his or her parents grew up ... The 'third culture' to which the term refers is the mixed identity that a child assumes, influenced both by their parents' culture and the culture in which they are raised."

Read more...

Is Competition a Biblical Value?

One Sunday morning in the church where I pastored, a family came to me and shared how some of their friends had left our church to go to another church: a "competitor church". They were completely distracted by their news. Does the Bible encourage us to compete with fellow believers? Is there such a thing as a competitor church?

Read more...

Deny Yourself: My Story of Self-Denial & Abundant Life

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” -Mark 8:34

I still remember the moment I heard the words of Mark 8, grasping their significance for the first time. Sitting amongst peers while at university – I was largely preoccupied by ambition and my pursuit of excellence.

I didn’t know a lot back then about what it means to follow Jesus, but I did know Jesus as the Saviour who pulls little children closer, drowning out harshness with His greatness. His hands had sheltered my heart throughout my youth and brought along gifts of companionship, discipleship, and understanding. I felt cherished by Jesus and it was his inordinate compassion towards me that kept me tethered to Him. 

Deny - the word sprang out at me, convicting and exposing me. 

What did that mean? 

I was well positioned to pursue the American Dream and succeed at it, and denying myself in any way was not really part of the plan. So tangibly struck, I fumbled to respond to those words within our group, finally landing on, “I don’t think I’m doing that”. 

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” -Mark 8:35

Oh boy, somehow denying myself was connected to losing my life and that was not anywhere on my to-do list. I was on track for a comfortable life, full of all the perks of a first-world society, with no regard for the reality that no one avoids suffering anyway...

Read more...

5 Ways to Pray for MORE Network in 2024
At the MORE Network, the key verse we’ve chosen for 2024 is Exodus 33:14: “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (NIV) Prior to this verse, God had told Moses to l...
Read more...
Lament of a Returning Missionary
Loosely based on Psalm 13, here is a prayer of lament of a returning missionary.  How long, Lord, will I miss our former HOME where I sobbed in frustration and prayed, pounding on heaven’s door to learn language(s...
Read more...
Christmas Memories from Around the World
Watermelon, Handprints and Fireworks ... What do they all have in common? They are all elements of favourite Christmas memories and traditions from our MORE Network staff, from around the world! 
Read more...
Deeply Rooted
We invite you to join us during this season of generosity so that, together, we can give Missionary Kids and their families the opportunities to experience a richer soil in Christ and broader branches in community. 
Read more...
The Eternal Benefits of Debriefing
I recently returned from RE-VIEW, a week-long family debriefing retreat, where I served as an adult facilitator and debriefer. While there, I had the honour of hearing the stories of missionaries who have worked in...
Read more...
Bonds Beyond Borders: The Impact of ReBoot on MKs
There is something so beautiful about the quick bonds that form between MKs (Missionary Kids), who understand each other despite having drastically different life experiences. It’s like a breath of fresh air to be surro...
Read more...
Adult Third Culture Kid Research: The Heart Behind the Research
This summer, we had the privilege of connecting with Shelly Lyons about her research on Adult Third Culture Kids. Listen in to hear more about the “heart” behind the research and her big picture dreams for how it will b...
Read more...
Is Competition a Biblical Value?
One Sunday morning in the church where I pastored, a family came to me and shared how some of their friends had left our church to go to another church: a "competitor church". They were completely distracted by their ne...
Read more...
Deny Yourself: My Story of Self-Denial & Abundant Life
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” -Mark 8:34 I still remember the moment I heard the words of Mark 8, grasping their significance for the first time. Si...
Read more...
Ministry at the Speed of Relationships
Building relationships is the first and foremost thing we should be about - everything else comes out of relationships. Building relationships with people from other cultures is so important, as humor; lifestyle; values...
Read more...