World Mission Strategy
This paper gives the strategy for World Mission involvement at Christ Church as agreed by the PCC.
The requirement for the Church of God to be involved in world mission is directed by the bible; not only in Jesus’ final Great Commission’ to his disciples (“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations”, Matt 28:19, and “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”, Acts 1:8) but also elsewhere (eg. Paul, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?”, Rom 10:14). It is worth noting that without a commitment to world mission by the church some 1500 years ago, we in the UK would not be believers. The gospel is to be preached to all nations.
But What Does World Mission Mean for Christ Church?
World mission has been described as “The whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world”.
Whole church: There is no indication in the bible that a concern and participation in world mission is for selected Christians only.
Whole gospel: There is no differentiation in the bible between preaching and social action they are both necessary parts of the whole gospel. Indeed, some have identified mission as having three main elements:
a) Proclamation (“And how can they preach unless they are sent”, Rom 10:14)
b) Church support (“Paul set out from there and travelled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phyrigia, strengthening all the disciples”, Acts 18:23)
c) Social action (“The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’”, Matt 25:34-40)
Whole world Equally there is no differentiation as to where the gospel is to be taken but for the purposes of focusing our thinking we shall exclude from this strategy our own personal evangelism in a and around Dore, vital though that is, and think of mission in terms of that which happens in the wider world both within the UK and beyond (“in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”).
Thus what does the biblical imperative mean for us here in Dore at the beginning of the 21st century?
i) Mission must be an inclusive concern of the whole church family.
ii) Mission must be an integral part of the life of our church.
iii) Mission must be an active part of that life.
iv) We should look to be involved in a cross-section of activities; the “whole gospel” to the “whole world”.
Turning Words into Actions
This urgency of mission should encourage us to build on our current involvement to ensure it permeates all of our church’s life. There should be three elements to what we do:
· Education of ourselves
· Support of those involved in mission, organisations and individuals, through prayer, giving and action
· Sending of individuals
a) Mission Education
Without education (the communication of information and passion) it is difficult to pursue support and sending. We should establish a programme of regular mission education for the whole church family. This should use a variety of methods and media, eg.
Inclusion within the regular preaching programme
Mission events (lunches etc.)
We need to identify and focus upon a small number of individuals and mission organisations who represent the “whole gospel” and the “whole world” who we will then commit to supporting. Ideally these will be ones with which the church as a whole, or individuals within the church, have links. The support should take the form of regular information distribution, prayer, “physical contact” and giving.
Mission giving should be a sizeable part of the overall church budget. (It has been said that, given the size of the church in the developing world, whilst it is no longer appropriate to regard mission as “The west to the rest” the one resource that the church in the developed world has which the church in the developing world does not have is money).
To be a church that mirrors the one we find in the New Testament we need to encourage and support individuals and families to consider “full time” involvement in world mission be it in a support role in the UK or going overseas short term or long term.
The Way Forward
The PCC has established a World Mission Team that brings together a small number of individuals from within the church family who have a passion for mission in order to take forward the above strategy into the life of the church.