Last October we featured OSCAR, an amazingly useful website with all sorts of resources and handy information for mission workers.  Another feature of Oscar which we didn’t discuss on that occasion is the OSCARactive interactive community.  The words ‘interactive community’ might speak dread to those of you who are reluctant users of the internet, but this social media tool is really easy to use and is a good resource for connecting mission workers.  There are over 300 people working all over the world in this community and it’s growing rapidly.  You might even be able to connect with someone you didn’t previously know working in the same town as you.  I have.

On one level it functions a bit like Facebook: you can connect with friends, message them, be prompted when it’s their birthday and send them ‘gifts’, but the added advantage is that the only people in this community are those actively involved in missions, so we’ve all got something in common right away.  Members are spread round the world, although you might easily bump into old friends from Bible college through this community.  There is also a live chat function for those whose work leaves them feeling a bit lonely, and online meetings are arranged.  You can uploads photos and videos too.  I’ve made new friends in missions through this community.

You can post any needs you have and people are able to help each other out with advice.  I often post the availability of the Syzygy car when nobody’s using it, and usually it’s booked out within days.  You can advertise your own events, or look at a comprehensive calendar of what’s on.  There are a large number of groups set up for those with particular interests, and I’m a member of several.   They include finance, mission-minded church leaders, ICT and Mentors for mission.  I’ve made some very strategic links with people through these.  You can also join a discussion – an open forum which gets started when one member asks a question, or makes a statement, and others support/critique/argue.  Recent subjects include Fair Trade: Think Again, Doing Mission With a Disability, Useful Apps, and Measuring the Success of Integral Mission.

I’ve not illustrated this article with screen dumps as the web pages have lots of photos of members on them, just like Facebook, and I don’t want to be responsible for inadvertently compromising anyone’s security.  But give the site a visit, you may make some good connections through it.  Go to http://oscaractive.ning.com/ or just click here: