The Missions Division conducts a careful examination before forming cross-cultural partnerships or sending global workers overseas. Dwell’s engagement with a ministry or missionary is evaluated on the basis of 1) godly character, 2) ministry competence, and 3) compatibility with our core values. Below is a description of our core values.
- Indigenous Leadership Development: We exist to empower national leadership to lead all aspects of ministry. Our goal is to facilitate a self-sustaining church planting movement, characterized by self-governance, self-support, and self-propagation to the greatest extent possible. One aspect of this consists of prioritizing student ministry, since reaching the next generation for Christ is necessary to have a long-lasting impact on a community or people group. Our strategy to accomplish indigenous leadership development will vary significantly from field to field, given that the needs, opportunities, and cultural factors are all unique.
- Partnership: God is reaching vast numbers of people through indigenously led church planting movements. Many of these movements are under-resourced and need sound theological training. God has graciously given Dwell a vision for house church planting, experience mobilizing people into effective church multiplication, an abundance of biblical and theological material, and financial resources. Therefore, we desire to form cross-cultural partnerships with these movements and offer our assistance and resources in contextualized ways the indigenous leadership deems most appropriate, all the while being mindful of promoting interdependency, not dependency. God is glorified when believers all over the world partner with one another and share resources to advance the gospel (Philippians 1:3-8; 2 Cor. 9:12-15). Whenever possible, we will aim to promote regional collaboration among our fields. Our partners must be able to demonstrate accountability, reflecting organizational transparency, independent governance, and financial accountability.
- House Church Planting: In the New Testament we observe that communities of believers continually expanded and multiplied, reaching vast numbers of people (Col. 1:6; Acts 2:47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 9:31; 12:24). The early church was determined to empower every member to do the work of ministry so that the growth would remain (Eph. 4:7-16; 1 Tim. 3). Early believers got the opportunity to meet in homes for bible study, fellowship, prayer, and communion (Acts 2:42-47). House churches allow believers to create grace-focused close-knit communities where members are mobilized to engage non-Christian culture with the gospel, experience profound spiritual transformation, grow in the knowledge of the Lord and his grace, engage in Christian love, and get an opportunity to lead for God. By emphasizing both the meeting in small groups and the need for expansion, we create an environment where believers rise to the occasion and fill much needed leadership roles to sustain movements of God in the long-term. It is, therefore, essential for us that our fields prioritize house church planting with a focus on evangelism and discipleship.
- Sustainable Community Development: It is our responsibility to engage in meeting basic physical and humanitarian needs to adorn the gospel and be shining lights in a dark world, bringing glory to God (Titus 2:10; James 2:15-16; Matthew 5:14-16). At times, however, organizations and ministries do more harm than good by opting for a superficial approach to poverty alleviation. We are committed to promoting the holistic and sustainable development of the communities where God has placed us, working among the under-privileged in a way that honors and empowers them toward spiritual, social, emotional, and economic progress.
- Biblical Equipping: We believe all followers of Christ stand under the authority of Scripture since it is the Word of God, who is the “only Sovereign, the King of kings, Lord of Lords” (1 Tim. 6:12-16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, it is of paramount importance for us to protect the message of grace entrusted to us and equip all believers to handle the word of truth accurately for the work of ministry (2 Tim. 1:13-14; 2:15). When we prioritize the study and application of the Scriptures in our ministries, we expect God to powerfully transform his people and bring about both qualitative and quantitative growth (1 Pet. 2:2; Heb. 4:12).
- Least-Reached: Our ministries work among the least reached, which means a low percentage of the population of a people group is evangelical. This definition includes unreached people groups (UPGs, less than 2% evangelical) and frontier people groups (FPGs, less than 0.1% evangelical). Throughout our history, we have remained committed to unreached and frontier people groups, and this will continue to be the case as we aim to follow the Apostle Paul’s example, who “aspired to preach the gospel, where Christ was not already named” (Rom. 15:20). The term "Least Reached" is used in this context to expand the scope of our missions initiatives to include fields where the evangelical presence may be greater than 2% but still remains a small minority. These countries and peoples are also in much need of resources and assistance.
- Focus on Fruit: Jesus designed us to bear much fruit, in both qualitative and quantitative terms (Jn. 15:1-17; Luke 8:4-15; Gal. 5:22-23). It is God’s will for Christian workers to go into his field and reap a harvest of people added to the kingdom (Luke 10:2; Jn. 4:34-38; Gal. 6:9). Although responsible for sharing the gospel all over the world, Jesus’ disciples were to make strategic decisions based on ministry opportunities and responsiveness to the message of the gospel (Luke 10:5-11; 1 Cor. 16:8-9). For these reasons, we will prioritize work among people groups that are responsive to the gospel and bearing fruit. We recognize this may take time, and a field may initially be unresponsive. It is also crucial that our fields track and show measurable evidence of changed lives.