Seedbed is a digital journal by and for thinking practitioners who plant churches and make disciples among the least reached.

Identity and Access of Workers: Discovering Viable, Sustainable Roles in Least-Reached Communities
Current Issue: Nov 2023, Vol XXXIV, No 2

Identity and Access of Workers: Discovering Viable, Sustainable Roles in Least-Reached Communities


Editorial: Remembering a Friend, Following the Master

Frontier church planters live at the crux of contradicting forces. A creative—and at times heart-wrenching—tension exists between the “pull” of Christ’s love and calling on our lives, and the “push” of resistance we encounter in least-reached communities. While many of us get our foot “in the door,” it is often challenging to earn a seat “at the table” where long-term presence, relational trust, and lasting kingdom impact can flower and flourish.
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Field Identity in the Rearview Mirror

Who are you, and who do the people around you think you are? Your social identity in the eyes of your host government may be one thing, but in the eyes of your neighbors it might be another. What are the implications of leaning into one of those identities more than the other? A former NGO worker who has both lived in and been expelled from creative-access contexts shares hard-won lessons and tips for those beginning the journey.
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Breaking the Mold: Recalibrating Identity in the Midst of Field Disruption

Organizational research suggests that the feeling of “fit” in work has less to do with role and more to do with our capacity to make psychological adjustments to available opportunities. This article presents two case studies where field workers in different contexts experienced significant disruption in their fields. These illustrate that making successful adjustments in role and identity can lead to flourishing in ministry amidst volatility and change.
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Am I a “Missionary” Now? Reflections on Identity Outside Creative-Access Nations

In “closed” countries, cross-cultural workers often establish a legitimate, reasonable identity other than “missionary.” However, should cross-cultural workers in more “open” countries self-identify as “missionaries,” or can they continue to utilize a non-missionary identity there as well? A female church planter who has relocated from a creative-access to an open nation explores the questions surrounding her shifting contexts and the various perspectives that workers have on identity, truth-telling, and the “m” word.
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Counting the Cost and Reward of Community Development

Community development can be a time-consuming labor of love that can challenge workers as they struggle with committing the time necessary to do it well. A worker with significant experience in Muslim contexts argues that community development can also pay great gospel dividends when workers work strategically, take a long-term view, and shift their perspective in a few key areas.
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Guilt and the Global Professional: How Good Habits and Thoughtful Leadership Help GPs Thrive in the Workplace

Some cross-cultural workers have full-time jobs in addition to their many other missional responsibilities. There is constant pressure from countless possible tasks vying for our time and attention. An experienced missionary and global professional (GP), who runs an equipping course for other GPs, shares his experiential knowledge regarding how leaders can help those they lead navigate the impossible and avoid burnout as they seek to be faithful amidst multiple vocations.
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A Holistic Identity for a Holistic Culture: My Pilgrimage as a Global Professional

God is using global professionals as witnesses in many restricted countries, but to be effective, they must navigate a very different environment from their traditional mission peers. Is it possible to unify our work and ministry identity so as to have an authentic presence as a witness for Christ in a “secular” work environment? A veteran worker shares stories, principles, and lessons learned over decades of witness as a global professional in a Muslim country.
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