Missional Labor Clouds

January 1, 0001

This brief post uses the neologism ‘labor clouds.':

It turns out that John’s new company NewCo is using Work Market to create and manage a labor cloud of writers and editors to create a new publication. Some of these writers and editors are full time employees, some are contractors, some are true freelancers. In the “labor cloud” model, you manage all of the labor you need to get something done in a single platform instead of three (or four, or five, or six).

You can find labor clouds in most mission organizations as well. On Friday, I wrote about one aspect of the nationals vs. expatriate discussion. The reality is, most mission organizations feature a “labor cloud” that is a mix of headquarters staff, roving consultants and experts, long-term expatriate workers, short-term teams, and nationals. To say that mission agencies “don’t send long-term workers and support nationals” (or vice-versa) is to ignore this reality. Beyond, my agency, is a mission-sending organization. We send long-term workers. But our workers are very much “in the background” on the field, concentrating on raising up nationals who have a heart for their people. We use the acronym “MAWL” (Model, Assist, Watch, Leave) as part of our operating philosophy, and we truly believe the national should take the lead while the expat never “teaches” anything that is not reproducible by nationals at every level. Do we support nationals? We don’t pay salaries. But in every non-salary sense of the word, yes, we do support nationals. We want to get as close to E-0 evangelism as possible, because through E-0 and E-1 movements spread rapidly through a people group, and then through E-2 and E-3 it jumps the boundaries. Put another way, labor clouds are just another aspect of “the whole church bringing the whole gospel to the whole world.”