Governance and Accountability
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Jesus Used a Strategy to Spread the Gospel. So Should We.

 

“The Lord appointed seventy two others, and sent them in pairs ahead of him to every city and place where he himself was going to come.”

-Luke 10:1

The Master Discipler, Jesus, used a very specific strategy to fulfill his mission. He went out with a clear plan, and a big part of it included oversight.

Sending anyone out alone to do a difficult task often doesn’t end with success. So, Jesus sent them out in pairs.

But he also knew going with a team isn’t enough. We need oversight. We need someone to keep us accountable. Any organization with a mission, even a secular one, knows that if their staff is not supervised, it can lead to abuse, scandal, burnout, and destructive fallout.

That’s why Jesus sent his 70 new evangelists to the places “where he himself was going to come.”

He sent them out ahead. And a little later, he was going to show up and evaluate their progress and methods.

SOWERS operates using the same basic approach as Jesus.

 

How SOWERS Is Organized

To begin, look at the diagram to the right. If you stare at it long enough, it might start to make sense. Pay special attention to the color coding. The blue arrows show who each entity reports to. And the pink shows who supervises whom. From that framework, the rest of this will fall into place.

We work in dozens of nations, mostly in Africa and Asia. As local churches learn about us, they invite our Sowers in to train them to use our method to sow the gospel in nearby communities, plant churches, and then train the new churches to go and do the same. And just like Jesus modeled, none of our Sowers work alone or without oversight. And that oversight also has its own oversight. No one person “rules” SOWERS International.

Here you’ll find a brief description of the underlying structure of SOWERS. If you ever have any further questions about who reports to whom, or how decisions are made, please send us your questions and someone will get back to you.

Also note: All these board positions, and the Chairman, are unpaid part-time volunteer commitments.

 

Governance Board – International Oversight

This group of 7 sets international policy and oversees the Chairman, which is who everyone else reports to. The Governance Board is elected by the National Boards.

What the Governance Board does:

Using the Policy Governance model, the Board sets the goals for the mission and sets the boundaries for what can and cannot be done by the National Boards and individual Sowers, and they hold them accountable using a rigorous process. The task of actually achieving the goals is the Chairman’s job.

 

Chairman (CEO) and International Staff – Executing Goals

The Chairman (working with a volunteer international staff) is the one held accountable for the success or failure of SOWERS to achieve its goals. One of the strengths of the Policy Governance model is that it ties the Chairman’s performance to that of SOWERS. When SOWERS succeeds, the Chairman has succeeded. Same would be true with failure. This prevents the Chairman from avoiding responsibility by blaming someone else.

What the Chairman does:

The Chairman directs operations by coordinating with staff in multiple nations to do the sorts of things a central staff can do best. This includes things like building prayer teams and raising financial support for individual Sowers and their special projects. Everyone except the Governance Board is accountable to the Chairman. And the Chairman is accountable to the Governance Board.

But again, this is not a top-down approach. Each nation has its own laws, and each National Board is in direct oversight over the Sowers working in their nations. They know their cultural norms and the specific challenges and needs they’re facing. National Boards have the freedom to do what is most appropriate and effective in their areas.

 

National Boards – Local Oversight

These members are appointed locally. Using the broad policies of Governance Board as a starting point, the National Boards set and apply policy to their specific nations. But again, if any policies from the Governance Board conflict with local laws, the local laws are honored.

What National Boards do:

Here you see much more direct oversight over what’s happening “on the ground.” As Sowers go out and train churches in the SOWERS method of evangelism, the National Boards oversee their work. They know what’s going on in great detail. They help strategize new outreaches. They support new church plants. They ensure our 6-Level Training Program operates as it should.

And, the National Boards elect the international Governance Board. Again, all Board positions are unpaid, part-time, and voluntary.

 

Regional Directors – Strategic Planning

As new local church networks get established, the Training Program equips them to go into new areas – unplowed fields.

As Jesus says to the 70 he sends out in Luke 10, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

SOWERS International’s main goal is to continually train new workers in local churches. As people receive the gospel and commit to follow Jesus, they can then be trained to go out and do what someone just did for them – share the love and mercy and Lordship of God with people in surrounding areas.

What Regional Directors do:

The four Directors oversee strategy and implementation whenever a new nation or region is opened up. They help coordinate the teams that will go to the new area, such as where they’ll hold the first open air meetings.

As new churches get planted and self-funding projects get started, the Regional Director guides this process and ensures the workers aren’t stretched too thin. Again – no one operates alone, and no one works without guidance from someone else.

Once the new nation has an established network of churches, they will appoint their own National Board. At that point, the Regional Director can back off and assume an advisory role.

The four regional directors oversee four large geographic areas:

  1. French-speaking African nations (Ivory Coast and Congo)
  2. West African nations, such as Liberia and Ghana
  3. Central and East African nations, such as Zambia and Kenya
  4. Asian nations, such as the Philippines and India

The four directors raise their own faith-based support.

 

Individual Sowers – Equipped Saints

These are the workers going out into the harvest (see Luke 10 up above). Their first step is usually to hold open air meetings, always with a trained team sent out from the closest church in the area. They follow up with whoever responds, and help establish new churches.

What Individual Sowers do:

The central goal of SOWERS is to train local churches using our 6-Level Training Program, which has proven uniquely effective in reaching the lost in developing nations. Sowers go out to equip and empower teams of local church members to do the work of evangelism. Individual Sowers are not going out on evangelism crusades.

Sowers also raise their own faith-based support, but the goal for each of them is to develop local project-based efforts to generate their own income.

 

Find out more about projects you can help develop!

Eventually, as individual Sowers become self-sustaining, they no longer need support from you, and your offerings can be transferred to newer Sowers who are less established.

Whenever international projects are proposed, they must gain approval from the Chairman, which ensures they follow SOWERS standards and objectives. But National Boards can approve projects that operate only within their nation.

 

Structure, Oversight, and Planning Produce Fruit for the Kingdom of God

Why all this structure?

Because it allows us to continually grow and expand, like a “wise master builder,” as Paul calls himself in I Cor 3:10.

SOWERS is not dependent on a few ‘rock star’ evangelists to spread the gospel. Not only does this protect us from one person’s potential personal failings damaging the whole ministry, but it also fulfills the mandate in Ephesians 4.

What is the purpose of church leadership?

Who does God want to use to spread his Word?

It’s us, the church members. Not the pastors.

Eph 4:11-12 says:

“And he gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”

SOWERS works because we follow this model. We equip local churches to do the work of service. We are not about having some (white) Westerner show up and preach to foreign cultures.

We continually raise up local leaders, who the people in the area already know and can relate to.

 

If you want to be a part of an international movement to raise up churches and leaders
in nations around the world, then support one of our Sowers or a project today.

Show your love for the Kingdom of God. Plant gospel seeds.

Then pray for the ones you’re supporting, and God will give you eternal rewards.

Helping the Church to Go, Sow, Grow

We partner with and train local churches around the world to spread the gospel in their region using open air evangelism.

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SOWERS International USA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All gifts are tax deductible.

SOWERS International New Zealand is a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005 - Registration CC27980.