Warm greetings from Geneva,
Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell
“…all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things,
and in Him all things hold together…so that He might have the first place in everything.”
Colossians 1:16-18, NASB
"We go broadly and grow deeply
as we follow the Good Practitioner and the Heart of Member Care, Jesus Christ."
Global Member Care (vol. 1): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (pp. 65, 137, 207)
Jesus, Phil Keaggy (1973)
Internet image, source unknown
1. Jesus Christ: The Master Carer
This term, Master Carer, is used in the introduction to chapter 21 in Doing Member Care Well (2002): "Jesus, the Master Carer, has much to teach member care workers and mission partners” (p. 209). It is also certainly implied in the description of Master Care below. Master Care (sphere one) has always been at the core of this international model of member care, presented in chapter one of Doing Member Care Well (2002).
"Sphere 1: Master Care
Care from and care for the Master—the “heart” of member care.
--From the Master—the renewing relationship with the Lord and our identity as His cherished children, cultivated by the spiritual disciplines (e.g., prayer, worship) and Christian community, which help us run with endurance and enter His rest (Heb. 12:1, 2; Heb. 4:9-11).
--For the Master—the renewal and purpose that derive from trusting/worshipping the Lord, serving Him in our work, often sacrificially, and knowing that we please Him (Col. 3:23, 24).
Best Practice Principle 1: The Flow of Christ. Our relationship with Christ is fundamental to our well-being and work effectiveness. Member care resources strengthen our relationship to the Lord and help us to encourage others in the Lord. As we serve/wait on Him, He in turn promises to serve/wait on us (Luke 17:5-10; Luke 12:35-40). A “look to God only/endure by yourself” emphasis for weathering the ups and downs of mission life is not normative, although it is sometimes necessary (2 Tim. 4:16-18)."
Source: Going Global: A Member Care Model for Best Practice, Doing Member Care Well (p. 17, 2002) (click here to access the introductory material and Part One)
2. Jesus Christ: The Heart of Member Care
Antonello de Messina, circa 1475
This term the heart of member care was first used in Doing Member Care Well (p. 17, 2002) to describe sphere one (the member care core) in the international member care model—Master Care. It reflects Jesus' sacrificial love for all people, a love which we too seek to emulate by His grace. The term was also used in the title for chapter 21 by David and Joyce Huggett, "Jesus Christ: The Heart of Member Care." Here are two excerpts from this article.
“As we have studied Jesus’ ministry over the years, the conviction has deepened that Master Care is rooted in establishing, developing, and maintaining relationships--first the relationship between God and the caregiver and then between the caregiver and the partner being cared for. We say this because, before He began His public ministry, Jesus enjoyed deep relationships with His Father and with the Holy Spirit. He also formed close relationships with twelve key people: the Twelve. Indeed, one of the moving things about the method of earthly ministry Jesus models is that He called His disciples to be with Him before He asked them to do anything for Him (Mark 3:14).” (p. 210)
“As member care workers and mission partners, it is our responsibility to study and grasp the meaning of the mysteries that Jesus fleshed out for us. Only then will we be able to support partners who are being required by God to learn the stature of waiting, the power of powerlessness or the value of the desert.” (p. 221)
3. Jesus Christ: The Good Practitioner
“...good practice in member care [is] rooted in the example of the care offered by Christ, the “Good Practitioner.” Consider the “continuum of care” below…It illustrates how Christ’s relationship with us serves as a foundation for our interaction with others."
Continuum of Christ's Care
Coddler Comforter Challenger Condemner
Placater Peace-giver Provoker Punisher
worst practice best practice best practice worst practice
The middle two dimensions of being comforted/challenged are normative for us, and reflect many of Christ’s encounters with disciples in the New Testament. The extremes on the continuum represent “worst practice” and do not reflect His relationship with us. Likewise, they should not reflect our relationships with mission/aid personnel—that is, overly protecting them and not sufficiently challenging them (coddling), or blaming them for having needs/frailties (condemning). Christ is both tender and at times tough with us, in His relentless love for us to be conformed to His image—what is best for us. His example points the way for us as we provide and develop member care ethically.”
Source: Encountering Ethical Member Care, Global Member Care (volume 1): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (pp. 160-161, 2011) (click here for more information on this book)
4. Jesus Christ: The Multilingual Messiah
The first appearance of the term Multilingual Messiah was in the Preface of Doing Member Care Well (p. x, 2002). It was used in reference to the image in the Foreword (pp. viii-viii)—a statement from Jesus Christ in 40 languages, foundational for member care. Reproduced below.
5. Jesus Christ: The Pearl of Great Price
Image from the cover of Global Member Care (volume 1)
“Member care is founded upon the biblical command to love one another (John 13:34-35) and on the ethical sense of duty to help vulnerable people (Prov. 24:11-12). This commitment to love one another and duty to others is tested in many ways for all of us, individually and collectively. The testing is often in the “furnace of health, relational, and organizational struggles.” So in other words the pearls of our character and our competencies will get refined by the many challenges and at times perils that we all face. We also believe that our relationship with God (the Pearl of Great Price) is what ultimately upholds us throughout our life and as we confront the works of the Evil One (the peril of great vice).”
Source: Preface, Global Member Care (volume 1): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (p. xvii, 2011) (click here for more information on this book)
6. Jesus Christ: The Precious Pantocrator
Icon of The Pantocrator (Greek Orthodox).
“One of the titles for God and Jesus Christ that I especially find meaningful and precious is the Pantocrator. It means “the Almighty. This term is used throughout the Old Testament (Septuagint version--Greek) and 10 times in the New Testament…. Concerning Jesus Christ, the New Testament is replete with many descriptions that are in line with the references to His being the Almighty, such as this by Paul: “…all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together…so that he might have the first place in everything.” (Col. 1: 16-18, NASB). So it is ultimately His “first place” in everything—His glory as the Almighty—that can be seen as the guiding, foundational value for Christians, Christians who are global integrators are thus intimately linked to Jesus Christ the Precious Pantocrator and as they seek to emulate His love for all people…”
Source: CORE Member Care: Reflections, Research, and Resources,
(27 August 2015, part of the series on "Global Integrators")