May 4th, 2006
The CrossConnector Manifesto
CrossConnector is for people who do missions.
CrossConnector is just what people who do missions want and need, and not much else. It’s not some gigantic, complicated, feature-laden web portal with everything. A lot of fun features have been left out in favor of doing the few things really well. The tools are designed to be flexible, not rigid. You might use your trip planner and to-do list to plan your family’s next missions-vacation trip; your pastor might use it to keep track of the ten church trips to Mongolia this year.
We believe that we are called to finish the Work that Jesus started.
But I reckon my own life to be worth nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of GodActs 20:24 (The Good News Translation).
‘My food,’ Jesus said to them, ‘is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do’John 4:34 (The Good News Translation).
King David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be confident and determined. Start the work and don’t let anything stop you. The Lord God, whom I serve, will be with you. He will not abandon you, but he will stay with you until you finish the work to be done on his Temple’1 Chron 28:20 (The Good News Translation).
Then [Jesus] said, ‘Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all.’Mark 16:15 (The Message)
We believe that people are God’s Plan A.
God did not delegate the process to people at all. He wore people as his uniforms. He came to live inside people and then lived out his wishes and will through them in a mystery called the Body of Christ. Jesus was with me all along by being in all of those who were helping me. God was using people as his Plan A.(Dr. Henry Cloud, How People Grow)
Under his control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So when each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love.Eph 4:16 (The Good News Translation)
We believe that every Christian is a missionary in one way or another.
Mission work is no longer the sole domain of professional missionaries and short-term church groups. We believe that every Christian is called to serve each other in some way, and that everyone can play some unique, important role in missions. Everyone can do missions. It can be down the street, in your own home, or in the far corners of the earth. CrossConnector provides tools for everyone to do missions, and for everyone to find their place and their calling. CrossConnector eases the entry to missions, facilitating many more people to support and participate in missions.
Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. Those who preach must preach God’s messages; those who serve must serve with the strength that God gives them, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 4:10-11 (The Good News Translation)
We believe that missions has entered a new era.
The world is changing. We are reaching out to more people than ever in Christ’s name. There are now more missionaries than ever before, and they’re not who they used to be. They are people from all walks of life, all countries, all people groups. Missions is no longer the exclusive domain of career missionaries from wealthy countries, but the inclusive responsibility of all Christians, all over the world.
Today there are around 2 billion people who have never heard the Gospel, and 410,000 official Christian missionaries (The State of World Evangelization, Mission Frontiers). That means that every missionary would have to reach 4,900 people to finish the work! Clearly, this has to change. But we each carry some of the responsibility to bring the Gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation. This is a colossal task, one that cannot be done without cooperation.
We believe that we have to work together.
Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help…. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break.Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, 12
To finish the work we have to work together at a level never before seen in history. Imagine what would happen if it were not just two or three working together, or even a few thousand missionaries from a church or mission agency, but millions of people, out on a mission, sharing and using the same information.
CrossConnector is designed to solve many of the problems that missionaries have always had communicating with each other. We can bridge the gap by providing easy tools for communication and publishing online.
We believe that the missions community is global and local at the same time.
The mission field does not have to be far away. It can be as close as your neighbor or people in your home. CrossConnector is just as useful for local servant evangelism, homeless shelters, and church activities as it is for mission trips and long-term missionaries.
We believe that sharing information is essential to do missions right.
Imagine if everyone doing missions had the ability to talk to everyone else doing missions. What kind of information would they share? How big would that community be?
We believe that we have new tools to propel missions to the next level.
The Internet has been used to supercharge business. These same tools are available and waiting to be used to supercharge missions. Online tools are currently in use by industry groups whose members benefit from easy and universal access to tools that enable them to do what they do better.
We believe that missions is best accomplished within the framework of teams.
CrossConnector’s tools are designed to facilitate team planning and encourage team activity. Teams provide a built-in support system essential for any successful ministry. The most effective teams are committed to doing the work in relationship (Steve Richardson, Third Dimension Teams – Pioneers.org). Missionaries need community. Whether at home or on the mission field, people need the love and support of others who are working closely and toward the same goal.
After this, the Lord chose seventy-two others and sent them out in pairs ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go.Luke 10:1
We believe CrossConnector should be available in every language.
And eventually it will be. We designed it to be easy to translate the tools into virtually any language that can display on a computer screen. Each command, function, and data field is mapped to a common value, so translators can easily render every command and function of CrossConnector in another language.
We believe CrossConnector should be fast and easy to use.
We know what it’s like to surf the Internet in a cyber cafe in the middle of Haiti. That’s why we’re continually retooling CrossConnector to work faster and use less bandwidth. We’ve left out most of the fancy graphics in favor of a slimmer, faster design. And it does just what you want it to do, just how you expect it, so you won’t spend time wandering around confused.
CrossConnector should be accessible by anyone with access to a computer. It should download quickly, and do just what you want it to do. It should be fast, easy to search, and quick to get what you need. It should have information that helps people do missions better. It should be usable – that means it is easy to use and does just what you expect it to do. It should be comprehensive, and include information from every source possible. It should seem like second nature to use. It should be so useful that every user asks how we ever got along without it.
April 30th, 2006
Want to beta test eBible?
This one’s especially for CrossConnector users. If you haven’t already, check out eBible, which has opened its doors to a select few alpha (soon to be beta) users. More info is below, but if you just can’t wait, log in to your CrossConnector account for instructions on how to become an eBible tester.
eBible is “A new approach to the Bible. Easy to use, understand and share the goodness.”
I got to take a tour of eBible the other day. Aside from the fact that it’s so nice and convenient to have the Bible in a browser, one of the neatest features is the built-in commentaries that run through the scripture passages. Throughout the scriptures are little “c” icons – click one, and a commentary pops up, specifically about that verse.
You can even open two versions of the Bible in parallel. Currently eBible provides New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, King James Version, New King James Version, and The Message.
It’s really nice to have the inline commentary. But in addition, clicking on “More Info” in the left-hand column next to the scripture brings up the commentary as well as tons of useful links to related topics.
Want to try eBible?
Mark from eBible has informed me that he has reserved a limited number of test accounts especially for CrossConnector users. Just log in to your CrossConnector account to find out how to become a beta tester for eBible. (If you don’t have a CrossConnector account, sign up for one! It’s free and takes about 30 seconds.)