– by Andy Wade – -
I first met Mark Buhlig a couple years ago when Tom and I went to Liberty, Missouri to do an Imagine That! creativity workshop at his church. Even then God was stirring “Points on the Wheel” in his heart. Mark had been on several short-term mission trips and always returned with the typical, “I received more than I gave” and “my life has been changed forever” feelings. But he wondered how these experiences actually translate into truly changed lives – “How do we move beyond cliche into spiritual formation/transformation?”
On the surface, it might be easy to confuse Points on a Wheel with a typical para church or mission organization. That would be to miss the, um, point. Mark’s vision is to create a platform others can adapt for the unique people and circumstances involved. “It’s more of an ‘open-source’ model of missions”, Mark explained. The ministries “are not about promoting the organization, Points on the Wheel, but about reciprocity and relationships.” If ministry is about a set method of doing things, or about self-promotion, or about pre-defined outcomes, then the ministry has already restricted its ability to fully engage everyone in the process. In other words, the vision is to both implement an easily adaptable method to provide real and relevant assistance to people in need and learn from them as we together develop mutually meaningful relationships which, in turn, deepen our understanding and relationship with God. It’s a kind of “mustard seed” vision that keeps ministry small and location centered.
Mark rhetorically asks:
- So, is Points on the Wheel an organization? Yes.
- Is Points on the Wheel a philosophy? Yes.
- Is Points on the Wheel a lifestyle? Yes.
And continues, “So what is it that Points on the Wheel does? Points on the Wheel works to change the world in physical ways and to change us all in spiritual ways with a view toward revealing the Dream of God.”
How have Mark and Points on the Wheel used this “open-source” platform of physical assistance and spiritual growth? One example is their current project in Haiti. They didn’t go in with an agenda. They didn’t go in as experts on the situation. They went in, listened to local leaders, and let them help craft an appropriate response. Yes, you can help with their project in Haiti. But you can also contact Mark to learn about how you can become your own point on the wheel right where you are.