S vs. XXL:
For those of you who like numbers, here’s some official yada-yada, shamelessly plagiarized from our international website:
“WEC has over 1,800 workers from 51 countries working among 90 unreached people groups around the world.
If we scrape past the layer of accountant-speak, there are some things here worth noting.
First, WEC is big. In terms of the number of long-term, cross-cultural missionaries, we are one of the larger agencies in the world – in the top 10. “OK”, you may be thinking, “whoop-dee-doo, you’re big. So what?”
When we send people out for the first time we don’t just hand them a parachute as the plane’s flying over Timbuktu and say, “Take care of yourself down there. You’ll be all alone, but you can always write us if there’s a problem. Someone will then be along to help in, oh, about six months.” No, we send people to join existing teams, so they will have the support, fellowship, and encouragement they need to do what God has called them to. Our size allows us to have a lot of teams in a lot of different places, as can be seen from the fact that we are working among 90 different unreached people groups around the planet.
Of course, if there were some organization called “Gospel for Timbuktu”, they might actually have more people on the ground in that location than we do. So, if you already have a clear calling as to where you are to go, then finding such a specialized agency might be just the thing for you. However, what happens if you aren’t sure yet about where to go? Or what happens if your visa for Timbuktu gets cancelled? Will you have the option of slipping over the border and joining the team in Kookamunga? Having a larger organization can give flexibility of options.
If you’re thinking about a future in missions, this can be important: with size comes a diversity of opportunities. Size also has advantages in terms of variety of ministries. In WEC, besides the typical church-planting teams, there are a lot of people doing a lot of different things. The next page in this section will try to list what’s going on these days, but we have work among street children and orphans; among drug addicts; in radio and literature; in training pastors and lay leaders in overseas churches; in training future missionaries for WEC and other agencies. We have room for people with a variety of giftings and callings.
Energy, youth, idealism, passion and faith may seem to be the only necessities for success in missions. But once overseas, one begins to appreciate having a few grey hairs around, people who have done it before, who have years of experience to draw on. Unfortunately, missions history is littered with disasters – many of which could be classified as “zeal without knowledge”. The depth and breadth of knowledge and experience within WEC is one of our most valuable organizational assets, one of the advantages of our slow growth to become one of the “big missions”.