IC: So, introduce us to the Sanders…
Greetings Immanuel! We are Jeff and Julie Sanders. This month (June 2020), we celebrate 30 years of married life. Since graduating from Cedarville University and BBS seminary, it has been our privilege to serve on three church staff teams in Ohio, Washington and for ten years at West Park in Knoxville. We also served overseas as global workers with ABWE. We have two young adult children, JoHanna and Jacob. Now we live in a townhouse in central Oregon, near our daughter and with easy access to an airport and a distant view of Mt. Hood. We love drinking coffee, crossing cultures, and coming to Knoxville! We chose Philippians 3:8 as a verse to guide us when we were married, and it has done just that.
What is your background in world missions?
Our families were both introduced to Jesus by people who loved lost people. We were both impacted by missionaries who spent time in our homes when we were kids. Over Bible clubs and family meals, they gave us a global vision of God’s love for people. Our commitment to serving God with our lives brought us together.
Our first wedding anniversary found us leading a ministry team in Europe. After several years of ministry, our church sent us to serve for some time in Southeast Asia, helping national leaders develop a missions movement from the Philippines. The past fifteen years gave us opportunities to develop and grow global outreach processes and strategies to support national workers, care for North American missionaries, train and send dozens of short-term teams, and minister ourselves in multiple nations. We’ve been really blessed to be the learners, servants, mentors, coaches, teachers, and encouragers for friends and colleagues around the globe. God has grown our global vision for the Gospel!
What is Live Global?
Live Global is a team cultivating trusting relationships with national partners who impact their own cultures and communities for Christ. We serve national leaders working in “gospel destitute places” by being partners committed to helping them serve. Every partnership is unique and requires customized care and resources.
As a division of the mission agency ABWE, our primary function is to come alongside national pastors and leaders. We equip, support, encourage, and connect them through partnership with North American churches and resources to help them thrive.
Live Global is a small but fast-growing organization. We don’t own or start international ministries. In the Live Global approach, national partners go first and lead the way; our team joins and supports them in what God is doing among their people.
You can learn more about Live Global online at liveglobal.org.
What are your roles with Live Global?
Our main purpose is to connect with and support Live Global’s national leaders; currently there are 120 of them.
We do this in several ways:
1. We provide customized encouragement, care, training, collaboration, and representation for National Partners.
>> What does this customized ministry look like?
As we get to know the national partner, we respond to where they are in ministry growth and to what the needs are. Some partners are more developed while others are establishing a foundation. Some need assistance with biblical training, while others need support in planning and assessment. And so we don’t come to a partner with a “set training.” Instead, we develop training and resources specifically for the partner based on cultural context and needs.
>> What are some examples of the national partners you work with?
- A pastor of a church with a vision for church planting (Nepal)
- A leader of a coordinated effort including a medical outreach, education for vulnerable children rescued from trafficking, and a church plant (Nepal)
- A pastor with a biblical teaching strategy for remote villages (Nepal)
- A church planter among city slum communities, evangelizing people, and training up church leaders from the slum communities (India)
- A group of church leaders who need Biblical and ministry training (India)
>> What are some examples of times you’ve provided this type of support?
We were asked to partner with a people group called the Soura. They are a group of people in India who have established a network of churches, but have been largely isolated. Few of their leaders have any training. We provided teaching for the first ever pastors/wives conference. While their Bible translation was completed in the 90’s, they have focused on reading the text as information. Literacy has been slow, so this was an important step. They had little understanding related to practical life application of God’s Word. They specifically asked for training about what God’s Word says about the family. We customized training for their group about marriage, parenting, and Church body life as a family. They took materials we developed and replicated it in the 1,000 churches across their region. They’ve asked for us to assist with leadership training.
Another example is providing help for a partner working to evangelize and plant churches in slums. We worked with this partner to create a tiered strategy of training for young leaders, preparing them to plant and support churches.
2. We serve on the Live Global Leadership Team to develop processes and relationships to support team growth and effectiveness.
>> How big is this team?
This team includes eight couples (4 on the smaller executive team).
>> In what ways do they support team growth/effectiveness?
The leadership team supports growth in several ways:
- Developing onboarding processes for new Live Global team members
- Creating resources for orientation, training, and engagement of team members.
- Communicating with new team members to assess fit and provide guidance
- Developing partnership process and guidelines
- Developing and implementing coaching and supervision strategy for Live Global Team members
- Developing Live Global policies and strategies
3. We serve as a Director over one of Live Global’s partnerships in India.
>> What is a “partnership” (how many people/organizations involved, etc.)?
Live Global currently has partnerships established with about 120 national partners. This represents different levels of maturity. Some are individuals, while others have grown to the level of a larger ministry. A partnership is an intentional, collaborative, trusting relationship between autonomous ministries to accomplish shared ministry goals, using resources of North American churches to grow movements of nationally led ministries in gospel destitute places for Kingdom impact.
>> What does it mean to be the director of such?
To be the director of one of these partnerships means we focus on the development of a regional location, in this case, New Delhi. The national leader has a multi-faceted ministry including evangelism, outreach, church planting, and training. Our role as “director” is to help develop the North American team there, providing coaching, support, and oversight for their work with the partner. This partner has a steady stream of short-term teams from the US, but has also had mid-term North American team members. We serve the partner, but we provide oversight for the North American team members. For example, a new team member is onboarding to join this partner’s work when travel opens up. We provided one-on-one orientation and preparation and will walk through his transition to the field. Once there, we will maintain care and oversight for his presence there.
4. We co-lead the Care Team providing support for Live Global’s North American team members.
>> What is the Care Team? How many NA team members are there?
The Care Team is our effort to provide care for scattered LG team members (North American). Our goal is to be proactive, rather than waiting to provide crisis care. We seek to cultivate on-going, relationally based care that helps individuals thrive personally and in ministry. Some team members serve with a national partner, but without a US team member. We have approximately 70 NA team members.
>> What types of work does this entail?
We work with an older couple in providing care. We have a strategy to “assign” team members (to one of the Care Team) who are new and to follow them through their first year of full-time ministry. We have monthly contact to communicate about their well-being in a holistic way.
In addition, we are working to provide extra care to the larger Live Global team during COVID-19, since some team members experienced unexpected extraction or transience.
We have also created some specific ways to nurture connections, specifically among the women. Our focus is on developing a culture of care with regular rhythms of relationships making it natural to provide loving fellowship and support for the Live Global team members, in spite of our global locations.
5. We coordinate, develop, and implement communication for national ministries through varied media outlets.
>> What are some examples of this?
- Essentially, we act as a communication liaison for national partners.
- Review of partner reports to gather information about needs, answers to prayer, and vital data
- Development of updates for the Live Global website
- Coordination of information sharing by LG team members by region
- Creation of social media content on behalf of Live Global partners
- Project design and promotion for Live Global partner initiatives
- Providing content on behalf of partners for ABWE communications
6. We cultivate connections between LG partners and North American churches.
>> How do you cultivate these connections?
In regard to North American Churches, we:
- Inform about multiple opportunities to participate globally
- Assist in direction and development of its global mission strategy
- Facilitate a vision trip or team to experience how God is working in a different context
- Connect to a specific National Partnership for relationship and ongoing ministry together
7. We assist local churches in strengthening their global outreach strategies and relationships.
>> What does this look like? Do you spend a lot of time visiting churches and working with staff/congregations?
There are some LG missionaries who spend a lot of time with NA churches. Because of our travel and focus on national partners, we provide this especially for our support churches. Our plan would be to travel rather extensively to spend time serving the National Partners.
How can Immanuel pray for you?
- Pray for us to have wisdom to use our time and resources wisely for so many needs and opportunities. We receive communication and serve partners in many regions globally.
- Pray for us to be fluent in our care for people. The needs of different nationalities of leaders are different from the needs of North American team members.
- Pray for conditions to improve related to COVID-19 needs and for international travel to open up to allow for the in-person piece of our ministry. As we wait, pray for patience and wisdom.
- Pray for God to provide remaining support so we are free to serve as doors open.
How can folks find out more/keep up with you?
We have several ways to connect:
Please connect with us! Just know that online we are careful about security concerns for the sake of our partners in sensitive countries. You won’t find us using “M words” or naming our agency on our personal social media accounts. It’s one way we care for our partners in hard places and protect our freedom to go to those places. It can be confusing, so if you have a question, just ask. You are welcome to email us directly or give us a call or text! Just remember we’re on Pacific Time. ☺
- Facebook – We’d love to have you follow us on Facebook (@sandersliveglobal); it’s a “Secret Group” for security reasons mentioned. Let us know if we can invite you!
- Instagram – We’re also on Instagram, privately as @sandersliveglobal. Request and we’ll “let you in.”
- Website – Our website (sandersliveglobal.com) is a good summary of places to connect. You can find the simple password on the back of our prayer card.
- Newsletter – We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter. It’s the best way to get the big picture. Just email us to be added (email@example.com) or follow this QR code.
Bonus: Things we love and miss about Knoxville…
Mast General Store
People breaking out into “Rocky Top”
The Market Square Farmers Market
Synchronized lightning bugs at our favorite campsite
So many Knoxville friends