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E-Mails to the Editor: Just Who Are Christian Projects?
By : Bruce Armstrong
Rating : Average Rating : 8.14 From 7 Voter(s)
Views : 1158
"As you note, Christian Projects has been around for a number of years, but for many of us it's still an unknown organisation. Some of the questions which I would be interested in being answered, include, Can we get a copy of an annual report and a copy of its financial report? Who are the directors, are they all men? Is it a company?" and "Who funds it? I know that in the past it has funded senior ministers, mostly men, on regular trips overseas. And I note that it is funding young people to go to a conference led by 16 men and 2 women, and will be entertained by a group of "guys". I wonder, incidentally, why women would go to such a conference! Does Christian Projects have a biblical position on the role of women in our churches?" Greetings Alan, Thank you for your interest in Christian Projects. There is a close link between our Australian Senior Ministers Network and Christian Projects. Our Senior Ministers group formed in 1987. We have now celebrated 20 years of strong and productive leadership across our Australian Churches.

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Comments / Feedback
Dale White
Thanks for this clear and informative article on Christian Projects. As a subsidised participant on a 1993 overseas study tour - and a self funded participant in a 1999 tour, I was interested to read how CP operates. Personally I have learnt much about leadership and ministry through the generosity of Christian Projects and wish to record my appreciation. CP helped me 'think outside the box'. Note (in relation to Mr Matheisons questions) that the second of my study tours (1999) included around 20% women; and the 2005 TeamFest event included 40 to 50% women.
David Andrew Bentley
I recently heard quite a negative comment about the effect of Christian Projects-funded overseas study tours - the comment being to the effect that a quite significant number of participants on such tours were within a reasonably short time, involved in conflict with their local church.

While I have no accurate information as to the truth of that assertion, it does raise a couple of questions in my mind.

1. The Directors and Trustees I assume are responsible for the selection of most useful and constructive destinations, conferences, etc. That selection is one that I would hope is seen as at least as important as deciding who will go on such tours.
2.Has any research been done on the longer term (positive or negative) ministeries of those who have taken such tours.
3.What can be done to prepare a church whose pastor does such a tour to respond positively and constructively to the ideas he or she brings back.
Dale White
I would like to take a moment to answer the questions raised by David Bentley regarding Christian Projects-funded Leadership development programs. I am not a Director or Trustee, but am a grateful past-participant of Leadership 2000, Leadership 21 (self funded) and TeamFest.

1. I am sure that much thought is given to the itinerary and program of each tour but have not been involved in these decisions. Note, however, that the tours are only part of the benefit - the mentoring relationships and peer support are of great benefit in the long term.

2. I don't suppose clinical research has been carried out on the question raised, but one only has to look around to see the benefit of these programs. Many of the largest Churches of Christ in every Australian state are led by Ministers who have benefited from the lessons learned (and relationships developed) through the Christian Projects-funded Leadership development programs. I could list them but as there are dozens I don't want to leave anyone out. A number of current State Presidents or CEO's in Churches of Christ and other denominations have also participated.

3. I can answer this question quite specifically. After each overseas study tour, the Elders or Board members of each Church are invited to a weekend of debriefing held at a central venue. This ensures that the Board are part of the development process, can ask questions, and work with their Minister toward progress. This was not the case in the earlier tours but has been normal practice for at least the last 9 or 10 years.

I hope this helps answer the questions raised - Dale White (HumeRidge Church, Toowoomba).
Westside Church of Christ
Dear Mr David Bentley,
Can I share my experience with Christian Project's sponsored events, particularly L21. I have been a participant in several of their events. I was in the L21 tour. I was also fortunate enough to 'gate crash' the debriefing weekends of the last two L2000 of the late 1990's.
I am grateful for the godly men and women who have imparted to me through these events. They have been informative and inspiring. They have helped me, along with many others from different settings obtain the skills needed to be in the ministry situation that I am now in - a church that had only one pastor to now having several team members and growing in every aspect.
I can clearly recall from the debrief weekends of the L2000 and L21, the advise given by seasoned leaders about change - go slow! So, I would suggest that if some participants of these projects ran into conflict, it is possible that they did so because they did not exercise good change management skills - not from what they learnt from churches overseas nor from our senior ministers.
I hope my brief thoughts eases you some of your concerns about at least one of the CP sponsored events - namely L21.

Blessings and Regards
Isaac Khan (Westside)

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