The OC Global Alliance: Our Roots Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Monday, June 19, 2023
In May 2023 Dr. Craig Kraft, Outreach Canada’s Executive Director, was commissioned as the new Director of Global Collaboration for the OC Global Alliance (OCGA). Outreach Canada is a founding member in the OC Global Alliance and Craig was one of the architects of our alliance structure.
This article is the first of a three-part series:
- This first article tells some of our OC story that goes all the way back to 1952.
- The second article will introduce some of the ministries of our global partners.
- The third article in this series will focus on how our Outreach Canada team is having a significant ministry impact beyond Canada.
OC International Inc. (formerly known as Overseas Crusades) was founded in 1952 as an American non-profit mission. Its purpose was to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Chinese who were leaving the mainland and finding refuge on the island of Formosa. Dr. Dick Hillis, the founder, was a crusade-style evangelist who had been invited by Madam Chaing Kai Shek, to conduct crusades among the military on Formosa. Our early roots were intertwined with Youth For Christ, the Navigators, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. These organizations were initiated by peers and often worked together and served on each other’s boards.
For the first twenty years, immediate attention was given to missions to the majority world. (Majority world is an alternative term for Developing World or Third World, and describes countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America which comprise most of the world's population.)
Then, in the 70s, OC International began to concentrate on promoting missions from the majority world.
The successor to our founder Dick Hillis was an Argentinian, Luis Palau, who served as our second president.
An expression of mission within a country, the Discipling the Whole Nation (DAWN) strategy emerged from our work in the Philippines with a focus on reaching every ethnic group, strata of society, and geographic area in a country. This involved cross-cultural mission sending within a nation. Since 1975, the Philippines experiment stimulated the planting of over eighty thousand churches across the country and inspired national saturation church planting initiatives globally.
In the years to follow, OC International continued to foster mission innovation from the majority world. Our missionaries turned their effort to the stimulation of new, non-western mission agencies. One notable agency of this nature was Avante, founded by Ken and Diane Kudo, and based in Brazil for the purpose of helping mobilize Brazilian missionaries to the unreached parts of the world.
Outreach Canada was formed in 1984 by Arnell Motz and Gerry Kraft as part of this movement to help catalyze church planting and missions in Canada.
In similar ways we have helped to launch movements like COMIBAM in Latin America, MANI in Africa, The United College of Mission and Theology in Nagaland, and others.
As OC International’s work spread worldwide, teams were encouraged to adopt indigenous names, such as Philippine Challenge, Outreach Canada, and SEPAL (translated Serving Pastors and Leaders) in Ibero-America.
OC International has a history of initiatives to encourage, assist, advise, and equip mission-sending within and beyond the countries we’ve served.
Over time, with increasing numbers of Asians, Africans, and Latin Americans asking to join OC International, we began experimenting with various internationalization models with multi-national teams. In 2005, OC International was reaching a tipping point where there were as many internationals serving on our teams as Americans. A meeting was convened in Manila in the spring of 2009 to discuss the growing international component of OC International.
Internationalization was creating innovative opportunities for mobilization and recruiting along with new challenges of funding structures and member care.
A new, poly-centric, attractional model would liberate national teams to do their own recruiting, funding, and member care for their people. By the end of the Manila meeting, we had designed our alliance model. Our new alliance model was ratified and implemented in 2010 and the OC Global Alliance was born.
The Gravitational Force of Relationships
The birth of the new OC Global Alliance was risky. The US-based mission released eight of their largest national fields to become fully independent mobilization centers (MC). The US MC supported the new MCs as they developed their boards and provided guidelines for handling finance, personnel, and partnerships.
The new alliance was held together by our unifying essentials: our statement of faith accompanied by our shared vision, mission, strategy, and values. We recognized that solid relationships and mutual trust would be the glue to hold the alliance together.
Many of our peers watched with eager anticipation as we charted new waters they would also have to navigate. We launched the new model with much prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
Our Alliance Structure
The structure of the OC Global Alliance is based on a round table where all partnering Mobilization Centres (MC) gather as equals. Each MC appoints two individuals to represent them at the Alliance table, where we meet biennially.
Our leadership model is flat. We do not have a president or chairman but a guidance team, which helps to facilitate the decisions and directions of the alliance.
Each of our Mobilization Centres (MC) may have multiple fields or ministry Teams (MT) they mobilize missionaries to, resulting in cooperative international and intercultural teams. The round table also represents the sharing of resources. We have formed shared thematic teams of people from various MCs within our alliance. Our shared resource teams include Global Research, Sports Ministries, Diaspora Ministries, DMM Practitioners, and more. As needed, we have also shared resources for member care, financial accounting, leadership development, and technology.
In 2022 the OC Global Alliance consisted of over 1200 Missionary staff serving on resident teams in 46 countries and with ministry in a total of 102 different countries
Our Newest Development – the Global Collaboration Hub
Responding to the needs of our Alliance, in May of 2023 the OC Global Alliance formed a new Collaboration Hub under the leadership of Craig Kraft. The Collaboration Hub is a non-co-located team made up of staff from various parts of the Alliance, offering their unique talent, expertise, and experience to benefit the partners of the OC Global Alliance. The Hub helps to connect, communicate, coordinate, and build collaboration between our various teams and partners.
Dr. Craig Kraft is the Executive Director of Outreach Canada and the new Director of Global Collaboration for the OC Global Alliance (OCGA). After 15 years of pastoral ministry in western Canada, Craig, with his wife, Heather, served with OC in southern Africa before returning to lead the ministry in Canada. Craig is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS and a graduate of Asia Graduate School of Theology with a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. His study has focused on diaspora missiology in Canada. His dissertation explores the potential for revitalizing Canadian churches through the practice of biblical hospitality with refugees and immigrants. Craig loves to watch sports, work in the yard & spend time in the woods.