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Missions Resource Network shifts focus to church equipping

ARLINGTON, Texas — In the past half-century, missionaries have assisted in planting thousands of churches around the globe, said Dan Bouchelle.
As a result, “we cannot parent 50-year-old churches like they’re 5-year-olds,” Bouchelle told a crowd of missions supporters at the 10th DFW Missions Dinner for Missions Resource Network.
“It’s really not our job to be their parents anyway,” said Bouchelle, who became the ministry’s executive director last year. “We need to realize what time it is and where we fit into God’s global economy.”
Bouchelle told supporters about the Bedford, Texas-based ministry’s vision for the future. In the past 13 years, Missions Resource Network, or MRN, has sponsored numerous workshops to help care for missionaries as they serve on the field and as they return from the field. The ministry helped train at least 14 mission teams serving on five continents.

Now MRN plans to shift its emphasis from team training to church equipping, Bouchelle said, although the ministry will continue to help train missionaries. MRN plans to work closely with Churches of Christ in the U.S., helping them to “think like missionaries” and catch a global vision, he said.
Bouchelle also talked about partnering with churches around the globe — including the Pasir Panjang Church of Christ in Singapore and the Otumoetai Church of Christ in Tauranga, New Zealand — in reaching their own communities and surrounding nations.
“God is on the march around the globe,” Bouchelle said, “and we face an entirely new reality.”
During the dinner, MRN honored Robert S. and Katharine Bell and the Bell Trust with the Crystal Globe Award for distinguished service in missions.
The Bells established the trust in 1956 to support ministers and missionaries. The trust has distributed nearly $30 million and contributed to thousands of religious, missionary and charitable works of Churches of Christ.
The Hills Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, Texas, received the Antioch Award for congregational excellence in world missions. The church, formerly the Richland Hills Church of Christ, annually contributes more than $2.2 million to local and global missions, and more than 1,000 of its members participate in short-term missions each year. The church supports 22 long-term missionary families in 13 nations on four continents.
For more information, see www.mrnet.org.

RELATED BLOG POST: Missions is ‘the bone marrow of the church’

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