Toward An Aligned Name

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By Ryan Shaw

The Holy Spirit has been leading SVM2 into a season of alignment. This process has been taking place over the last few years. He has been graciously revealing clarity and understanding related to changes and shifts He is encouraging in the global mission mobilization movement.

He is orchestrating a massive shift from the traditional way the body of Christ has been doing missions to a return to biblical, Spirit-led strategies and means. He is directing His global Church toward the coming culmination of the “fulfillment of the Great Commission.”

The global Church’s current, “business as usual,” approach to both mission and mobilization, need to become aligned with His own. This is the only way, “All the peoples will praise you, O God, let all the peoples praise you! (Psalm 67:3).

An important aspect of SVM2’s “alignment” process has been relooking at our name, considering if it continues to serve us effectively. In August of 2002, when the Lord first led us to organize as a mobilization ministry, we took the name Student Volunteer Movement 2 (SVM2).

We believed God wanted to raise up a massive mission mobilization and sending movement possessing the same spirit as the original Student Volunteer Movement. That inter-denominational movement lasted more than forty-five years, from 1886 – 1935, raising more than 20,000 new long-term laborers for the nations.

We knew God wanted to do this again on a wider, global scale yet it would look very different from its historic counterpart. The spirit of this new initiative would indeed resemble what God did in that historic generation. We still believe that.

The Holy Spirit is raising tools, resources, courses, and voices in mission mobilization today more than ever before in the Church’s history. He is doing this on a global scale and we could be in a day of seeing a massive mission mobilization and sending movement from every nation taking place.

This is God’s heart among all ethnic people groups as He beckons His global body to partner with Him in the “fulfillment of the Great Commission.”

Over the last few years, SVM2 leaders have found more often than not the need to explain the history of the original Student Volunteer Movement when explaining what SVM2 is and does. Because much of our focus has shifted in recent years to mobilizing the majority world, non-western church, most leaders and believers are not familiar with the history of the original Student Volunteer Movement.

This is true even in the western Church today. Though it is an inspiring and motivating story the name has started to feel as if it were no longer serving our purposes.

We still hold the same passion and overarching purpose as we did sixteen years ago when we first named the work Student Volunteer Movement 2 (SVM2). In fact, that passion has only grown and become more mature as it has been tested over time.

Together with God’s leading to a clear-cut, step by step strategy for seeing national mobilization movements activated in multitudes of nations worldwide, we are more than ever certain God is raising the same spirit as was experienced in the historic Student Volunteer Movement.

Yet the name of the work needs to describe what it is and does. This is why the Lord led us to align the name with the work.

Several leaders over the last few years had hinted that the name SVM2 was becoming a problem. Yet none could provide helpful replacement possibilities. I was not interested in even considering a name change unless I had confidence in a new, replacement name God was leading us into.

He provided this during a trip to Lilongwe, Malawi in September 2018. An SVM2 colleague from Malawi was listening as I facilitated an SVM2 Vision Summit among ministry leaders.

As I explained what SVM2 was, I described it as an “international mission mobilization initiative made up of many national mobilization initiatives.” After the meeting, he suggested that should be the name – Global Mission Mobilization Initiative, or GMMI for short.

It hit me with authority. Something clicked. I sensed from the Lord this was the replacement name we had been looking for.

As our leadership team reflected on this replacement possibility it seemed to check the important boxes. It described the work clearly, included a visionary component, included the word “initiative” differentiating it from a traditional organization, had a catchy acronym (necessary because the name as a whole is a mouthful), contained words generally understood without explanation.

A next step was sending a survey to about 50 handpicked people. 10 questions on a 1-5 agree-disagree scale were provided surrounding the present relevance of the name SVM2.

The vast majority confirmed it was time for a change and that Global Mission Mobilization Initiative – GMMI was a good fit. This confirmation led us to the decision to plan for an official name change. We set a date of August 15th, 2019 as a suitable time-frame to officially begin using the aligned name GMMI. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming months.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Noreen 06/04/2019 at 6:05 pm

This was a good read.
I was also very curious about the name SVM2 I thought it it represented a very small fraction of the Great commission.
I believe the change of name will continue to open more and new global partnership opportunities.

Will the logo also change?

Regards
Noreen

John Bosco Mugerwa 10/04/2019 at 10:29 am

This is surely a fit and those led by the spirit of God are the true children of God. No one can contend with what the Lord has led to be done.

Lewis Fiadjoe 10/04/2019 at 9:17 pm

As an alumni of SVM2, I will be the first to admit that the name has served its purpose and that a new one is required to reflect the new direction and holistically embrace the core mandate and values of the movement. I am delighted about the name change because it brings into sharp focus the current trends in Global Missions today – Mobilization.
I know both Directors are great prayer warriors and have their ears and hearts always opened to the voice and promptings of the Holy Spirit.
I am wondering if a formal ceremony will be organized to inaugurate the new name. I will be delighted to be a part of that historic occasion. Please keep us posted. Blessings

Remo 12/04/2019 at 5:11 pm

Thanks Ryan for keeping us posted. Prayed for the Grace of God to abound as you make the transition and rebranding around the new name GMMI

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