National program directors discuss ABHMS’ new ministry model: Lisa Harris-Lee

The Rev. Lisa Harris-Lee, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) director of Mission Engagement and National Network Initiative, discusses ABHMS’ aligned action network strategy.

Q.: What is ABHMS’ new strategy for doing mission?

A.: ABHMS has been exploring new ways of connecting with our historic mission partners as well as emerging ones. We’ve committed to aligned action networks as a way of bringing together partners around a table—a table that has room to grow, a table with many seats [that offers] opportunities for others to share with us in mission. We’ve discussed coast-to-coast mission impact [by] answering in this decade: “What is God calling us to be and do in mission in the United States and Puerto Rico?” The networks are beginning to develop, with the purpose of cultivating leaders, equipping disciples, and healing and transforming communities.

Q.: What is the rationale for aligned action networks?

A.: There are so many scriptural examples of God calling people to work together to bring the best that they have to offer—to be witnesses in the world that is seeking to see evidence of God’s presence.

Q.: How will these networks be different or better than other networking initiatives?

A.: These networks will be ongoing—not a one-time event. We’re hoping to gather people who aren’t just looking to say, “This is what’s in it for me.” They’re also saying, “This is what we’re eager to bring and join with the resources of others” and “This is an opportunity to make a significant impact.” In each of these networks, what that means will likely be different. We’re hoping that those differences will reflect the needs of particular geographic areas.