December 2016

Samoans in the Philippines

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Kia Ora, Talofa Lava, Hujambo and Kamusta!

The countdown is on and there are less than 40 days left before a small team of ladies from Grace Women’s Ministry (St Paul’s Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Christchurch) along with team leader Watiri Maina (NZCMS) travel to the Philippines on an Encounter trip in 2017.

For most of us the idea of going on a short term mission or encounter trip is new and foreign. But when the seed was planted last year the team were intentional about prayer, fasting and being open to the Holy Spirit in leading us through this process. We’re absolutely excited to partner up, learn from and serve alongside Mission Partner Dianne Bayley and the team at CBM in the Philippines.

It has been a busy, challenging and rewarding 12 months of preparation and we still have much to learn and to prepare for before heading away. We continue to give thanks to God and we are absolutely in awe of what he is teaching us during this exciting season because at the end of the day it’s his plan and purposes; we’re just privileged and honoured to be a part of his plan.

We’re grateful for the new formed partnership with NZCMS to make this possible. We are also blessed for new connections made through Simply Mobilising – Kairos, iTeams and our local Filipino Christian communities. We have been overwhelmed and humbled with the support, love, words of encouragement and donations from everyone, and we especially give thanks for prayers. We couldn’t do this without all our supporters; thank you very much and from the bottom of our hearts we cannot thank you enough.

We ask that if you are reading this to please pray for Dianne Bayley, CBM and our team as we prepare.

If anyone interested in finding out more about our journey, please visit

God Bless and Fa’afetai tele lava,

Ropeta Mene-Tulia (On behalf of Encounter Philippines Team 2017)

Seeing things up close

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Here are some further reflections by Maureen Harley from her recent time visiting Mission Partners in Cambodia. Her previous reflection can be found here.

It’s been a privilege to have an up close view of God at work in and through the lives of some Mission Partners.

Five years ago our apartment was filled with the sound of excited voices. We were in Phnom Penh and thanks to NZCMS’s subsidy we were able to offer hospitality to an ever increasing number of Mission Partners from various agencies and countries as they came into the city for respite or travelled on business. This was the first time though, that we had the chance to host a Kiwi family – their first stop as they began their Cambodia adventure.

It was an enriching experience and we were happy to repeat it a few weeks later, hosting a charming couple as they found their feet on “our side of town.”

Five years on and we were hosted by them –first by the McCormicks and then by the Sussex family, as both celebrate five years of living in Cambodia. What a grace filled time we had, seeing how God has used their time in the country to shape them and use them.

Anthony & Anne live in Battambang city in the north west of Cambodia. It’s a largely rural province and the city is small and retains a village feel to much of it. They have made a lovely home there and offer hospitality to a number of visitors, including us, with simplicity and grace.

Two years ago Anthony set out to establish a social work department at World Mate Trauma hospital. We were able to visit his team: a dedicated, professional group obviously appreciative of all “Mr Anthony” had done in training them. The value of what they can offer is slowly being recognised by medical and nursing staff – they feel they could still do more if the staff understood their role. The material Anthony has prepared has been taught to others in social work and will form part of his ongoing ministry in this field.

Anne also works at the hospital, setting up a range of activities suitable for patients (who are mostly long term) and caregivers to help occupy their otherwise hours of empty time. These include books for reading, jigsaw puzzles, games, card work for crafts, knitting. And there’s of course helping with paper-making, which provides the paper for card-making which is the major fund source for the materials and equipment with which Anne has equipped the department.

We saw for ourselves people’s faces light up with joy at being able to achieve something so simple as a jigsaw puzzle. We heard laughter from people playing a simple peg balancing game. We saw community and sharing happen as women gathered to be part of a team setting frames to dry in the final stage of paper making. And we heard of needs identified as stories were shared and how these could now be referred to a fully functioning Social Work Department.

In a hospital full of trauma victims, full of the very poor, the often uneducated rural villagers far from home, there is no doubt that the work of Anthony and Anne’s new departments working in very small humble ways is contributing richly to people’s lives.

Phil and Becky Sussex can also look back on five years in Cambodia. Next month they will pack up their home and their lives and fly back to begin the next stage of their journey in New Zealand. The impact they will leave behind in people’s lives is hard to measure. They all know so many people and have supported parents, staff and pupils through major upheavals at Hope International School.

We were unable to join Phil on some of his work experiences but seeing his photos and hearing his stories left us shuddering. We were able to imagine how it has been for him, a professional dentist who has had to cope with students with limited experience, a lack of modern equipment, primitive conditions, operating in the prison (when they were allowed in) and in villages, even in the back of churches. All this in the unrelenting heat of a Phnom Penh summer (and autumn and spring and winter!). Phil is currently polishing up his final lecture series to get it ready to hand over to the university and writing exam questions for the post grad oral surgery exam. Long after he has left this lecture series will be equipping future students.

We enjoyed looking over the new Hope School facility. We found it hard to believe we were in Cambodia – picture the two storied buildings, spacious classrooms and extensive grounds any modern school would aspire to. What is not evident in most schools is the atmosphere. Permeating every part of school life is the love of Christ – students and staff alike seek to live out the command of Christ to love God and to love one another. It is almost palpable! Becky continues to teach part time in the preschool class – a mini united nations! – shaping children, many of whom will become the next generation of missionaries, living cross culturally in the hope of seeing others know the love of Christ.

The kids on the surface are getting on with getting on with life. We remember them from five years ago, delighting in playing games with us and in hearing stories read. Now they are busy about their own grown up affairs: Bryn in creating props for the coming Wizard of Oz production at school, Toby as part of the back stage team fitting rehearsals in amongst his basketball and music, Pippa racing home to play with their cat and foster cat with whom she can do almost anything, and Molly showing great promise in learning the ukulele from big brother Toby.

Their home welcomed us as easily as did the family – the love of God shone through their relationships with each other and the way they ministered to us.

All too soon it was time for us to leave Cambodia again – but it was easier to leave somehow now that we had seen how faithful God is to the Cambodian people. He did send workers who stayed on when we left and he will continue to do so until all his children are gathered in. And you know what – it is all managed without our being there!

The Island Ordination

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After six months of intense preparation, Bio village welcomed over three thousand guests to celebrate my ordination to the priesthood on October 16. Two weeks before the feast, Tess and I were sitting down with the ordination committee, wondering how we were going to feed so many. How richly God provided! Within days we witnessed several minor miracles. Far-flung communities from different tribal groups and languages sent assistance in the form of pigs and rice. One village even volunteered to do all the catering for our special guests. Our dedicated feasting account suddenly had an unexpected (and unexplained) surplus of $2000.

The day itself was an immense celebration of God’s calling. We were led by panpipes into the church where dancers sang the ‘Gloria’ to open the service. Our Bishop, Sam Sahu, sounded a clarion call to the Church of Melanesia to revive the practices of prayer, fasting and the reading of Scripture as part of her response to God’s calling to be his people. Many heard and celebrated the commission. We’re grateful that this event not only embodied for us the lavish hospitality of the Kingdom of God (and we thank our Melanesian brothers and sisters for teaching us a thing or two about this), but also for arriving when it did, on St Luke’s Day: “Pray to the Lord of the harvest, to send out more labourers into his harvest.”

Kenyans in Wanganui

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Earlier in the year NZCMS, in partnership with a number of churches and groups across the country, hosted a ‘reverse-mission’ team from Kenya. This team was split into smaller groups and sent to various parts of New Zealand. We’ve invited representatives from the team to write some reflections on their experience. Other reflections can be found by clicking here.

By Pastor Kinyua Kathuri (Ingestre Street Bible Church, Wanganui)

He had been advised to be very careful about publicly sharing his faith. Now he was in a public toilet talking about Christ with a total stranger! And the stranger loved it! Joseph shared aspects of his story and the Gospel in the most unlikely and unpredictable places.

A month ago, we at Ingestre Street Bible Church (ISBC), Wanganui, were privileged to host Joseph, Tony, Lilian, Calista, Jimmy & Milly and Emma from Kenya for a short-term mission. One of the objectives for their visit was to work alongside us, as a church, in reaching out to our city with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This team acted as a catalyst in assisting us engage our world.

Wanganui is our immediate world. The ISBC planning team did a splendid job in creating avenues for the Kenya team members to share their faith. The Kenya team members shared their faith with courage and in winsome ways. Many days after the mission, we still receive encouraging feedback from people whose lives were touched and challenged by the team. Their sacrifice for the Gospel was worth it. Through their work here, God is opening opportunities for us to enter schools, people’s homes and hearts. The narrative they started hasn’t stopped-sharing the Gospel through our stories. How would it be if each one of us shared our faith story to our neighbours, colleagues or even strangers? How would it be if each one of us continued to intentionally invite people both to church and to a relationship with Christ? What will it take for us to engage those who live next door to us?

Engaging our world means that we will present the Gospel across the street and around the globe. We are being challenged to not only pray and support missionaries but we will also to pray and participate in outreach (in its different forms) within our city. Engaging our world is a call for us, as individuals and as a church, to be salt and light in our city.

Did the stranger come to faith in Christ? Not then, but a seed was planted. The stranger attended ‘The Kenya Experience’, a cultural concert that the Kenyan missionaries put together. Was Joseph embarrassed? No! Actually he was surprised at the wisdom and boldness that God granted him at his hour of need. Each one can reach one.

Kenyans in Christchurch

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Earlier in the year NZCMS, in partnership with a number of churches and groups across the country, hosted a ‘reverse-mission’ team from Kenya. This team was split into smaller groups and sent to various parts of New Zealand. We’ve invited representatives from the team to write some reflections on their experience. Other reflections can be found by clicking here.


By Susan Mwathi.

The journey to New Zealand was a faith journey, beginning with raising the actual amount for flight and also for the visa – this was not an easy task. We had intense training and classes every Sunday morning to prepare us and also to give us an overview of what we were getting into. During each lesson my desire grew deeper and my faith more as I saw myself being part of this mission. I was in it to learn, share my faith and let others know of God.

As the departure day drew closer, the challenges increased and my faith was tested. The visas took so long to be approved and still my flight fare was not enough. We finally got the visa on the very day we were due to travel. Our long journey of 22 hours finally begun. We were curious and expectant. We finally got to Auckland and after some orientation we set out for our different locations. Christchurch is where I would be located. When we landed heaven must have known because it was raining and way colder than Auckland but the reception at the airport made it warmer.

Christchurch has amazingly beautiful architecture. Even with the earthquakes having happened it was still beautiful. We got to interact with the people in Christchurch and everyone we met left us amazed. The hospitality and love shown made us feel at home even if we were away from home. Getting adjusted to the time difference was a challenge. The team had prepared for us a well-organised time table throughout our stay.

After each and every meeting we went to I was left impacted, and just sharing my story and listening to others share made me realise we can all be effective where we are and no one is less useful. One of the many encounters is when I had a one on one with a young lady and my heart was broken. Her story has made me pray for her that she will get to know Christ for who he truly is. She is a young girl yet has taken up the responsibility of taking care of her siblings since her mother cannot due to a drug addiction. On top of that, she’s been brought up in a home where she has had different religions blended together and cannot understand which is true. She wants to encounter God but is still held behind by the different religions and their teachings and cannot understand real from fake. She constantly reminded me that at times we complicate the gospel. It’s been a prayer burden for me that she will find Christ and that also through finding Christ she will lead her family to Christ and that she will not give up searching for the truth.

As I sit and write this I carry a lot with me from New Zealand. What God has taught me through that short mission is that we have so much to give to others if only we avail ourselves to missions. I don’t need to be a preacher….  My story is a testimony in itself and I should be bold to share it. I should not be ashamed to share it at all everywhere I go and with whomever I meet. My heart was moved for New Zealand and even for the young people who are needed more in the church to serve and give of themselves. For me one of the many take home prayer points that I have is that there will be a revival and it will indeed start with the youth and will spread across the church of New Zealand. The church needs to also be ready to pass the baton to the young generation; there is a big need of young people to serve in the Church. I will keep praying that the church will equip and mentor them to be the next wave of effective leaders.

Kenyans in Wellington

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Earlier in the year NZCMS, in partnership with a number of churches and groups across the country, hosted a ‘reverse-mission’ team from Kenya. This team was split into smaller groups and sent to various parts of New Zealand. We’ve invited representatives from the team to write some reflections on their experience. Other reflections can be found by clicking here.

By Ken Muchiri and Samuel Kiautha.

The Nairobi Chapel Ongata Rongai (NCOR) mission team to Wellington was sent to Newtown.  Newtown is a mixed neighbourhood with a mix of the upper and lower middle class living right next to the poorer in society.  The team of six missionaries were hosted in people’s homes with three of us hosted by the Greenhaus community.  The Greenhaus is a large wooden house built in the 1920s and has more than a dozen bedrooms, a large lounge, a large kitchen and dining area and a lot of warmth. The community consists of 12 people living in one house! There were two couples and eight single people. In terms of their faith, 8 are believers and 4 are non-Christian. These guys share the kitchen and the lounge, the bathrooms and toilets. They have a duty roster of who cooks, who goes to the market, who empties the dishwasher, among others. Each person has something they give to the community. They share what they have so that no one misses provision, even the non-Christians in the house. Living with the Greenhaus community provided our first major lessons – even a paradigm shift – on what mission is all about.

We interacted with the homeless, mentally challenged and drug addicts as they ate their meals in church funded soup kitchens. We met people that lived on the streets, in their cars or in drug/mental rehab facilities among other folk. Back home we are afraid of the mentally ill and drug addicts – we had a paradigm shift in Newtown! We wanted to tell our stories and share our testimonies, act our rehearsed plays and sing songs of praise we had practised, but instead we learned to sit and listen as they shared their stories and asked about our culture. At first it was difficult for some – listening is not an easy skill but as we adapted and got the grace to practice listening. We served them breakfast and engaged in conversation.

We also got time with youth groups from neighbourhoods and from churches. We visited an aged care home, joined in playing at a kids club, and met the coolest Anglican bishop in New Zealand who walks bare foot and has dreadlocks but has great vision for the church in NZ, Bishop Justin. We sang at a local market, attended a powerful Bible study called ‘Soup and Luke’ at the local priest, Mark’s home.  We also attended a Maori class, ate raw paua (a shellfish) with Malini, visited the beautiful Tepapa museum, shopped in the op–shops and watched an All Blacks rugby match.

Ministry Highlights

Fred – The policeman from Karatina and Old People’s Home

On one occasion we went into an aged care facility, Ultimate Care, Mt Victoria. Old folk listened to the songs and watched a skit we did for them.  As we sang songs in Kiswahili, Fred heard the Kiswahili and came out of his room. When we sat down to interact after our presentations, a few of us sat with Fred. Fred was a policeman in colonial Kenya in the 1950s. Imagine that!! We learnt later that Fred had not talked to anyone for more than five minutes in the last one year. On that day he talked and we listened. He spoke of the Mau Mau and a trusted African Police lieutenant he had from Western Kenya. Yes we talked about God too – and he said, “God can’t love me – I have done too many bad things.” One of us spoke to him and said, “God has already paid the price; you don’t have to pay the price for your mistakes.” We told him God loves him and had forgiven him unconditionally. We sensed that was God’s message – ‘Fred you are forgiven’ – delivered by the sons and daughters of Kenya whose fathers he probably killed! The past does not have to weigh on him anymore. We pray that he will experience God’s forgiveness and love of Christ.

A woman in the same home, who had never spoken for two years, spoke for the first time after out visit and even sang with us. We pray that she will experience the peace and joy that comes from Christ.

Ahmed – a young Muslim

Ahmed is a young Muslim who owns The Red Sea restaurant in Newtown. We introduced ourselves to him and ate at his restaurant. We shared what we were doing in town. He just loved the fact that we were from East Africa near his home country, Somalia. He invited us for a free cup of coffee or tea whenever we were in his location. He made a superb cup of tea, just the way we like it back home. Wasn’t that God telling us to love everyone and share the gospel with them? Isn’t it amazing how doors can be opened through the smallest things like a cup of tea?

Bishop Justin

The Anglican Bishop of Wellington is barefoot and dread-locked. If you met him on an ordinary day you might dismiss him for his looks. Do we judge too fast? Do we concentrate on small things and miss the bigger picture and plan of God? He lives a simple life, housing the homeless and other people needing care in his house. We encouraged him and he taught us the true service required from Christians. It’s not about being mighty men of God but men who know a mighty God.

The Need – Churches are Closing Down

There are many closed Churches in Wellington. Beautiful churches with no congregation. We visited one, St Christopher’s Church, Seatoun which was sold and was turned into a community centre. It is now used by an atheist music director to play musical instruments with the mentally ill which has a therapeutic effect on them. They call themselves the Ssendam Rawkustra band. We played the many wonderful instruments with the band and shared a meal too. We were left with questions however: What is “church”? Buildings or people in relationship to each other and God?

In the words of Mark, the Anglican priest of St Thomas, the harvest is ready but workers are few. Mark prayed that our visit will be like a spear to pierce the hard ground for Christian ministry. Only about 5% of the people worship God and attend Church. St Thomas chapel has a capacity of approximately 50 people. The first service is about 10 people most from one Samoan family.

We pray for the few Christians so that they may not be discouraged and that their impact will be felt. Though they are few they deeply love the Lord. We believe that our visit encouraged them to carry on with the good work.


We are extremely grateful to God for the opportunity and privilege to be part of his work in New Zealand. We know he is at work in this nation. We thank Rev. Steve Maina and the team from NZCMS for the great effort and partnership they created to ensure that the team spread out in New Zealand seamlessly. We thank Richard Noble, Mark and the leadership of the St Thomas Anglican Church in Newtown, we also thank Pastor Ondachi and the NCOR team for initiating this mission, and for NCOR members for the prayers and support. We had families that allowed us to be away; we thank them too.

Some Lessons

We witnessed and experienced God’s miracles through the encounters with our travels documents. Our passports with visas came very late – literally at the airport. Our God still performs miracles. We just don’t pay attention to them.

We had our plan but God’s plan took centre stage. It is ALWAYS about God. When we let go and let God, HIS glory is seen. We only need to avail ourselves as God’s instruments. He will use us for HIS glory. (HE does not share HIS glory with anyone).

Listening, listening, and listening. It is a hard skill. But just staying quiet to hear someone speak is service. Servant-hood is a good place to be. God takes over. After all it’s about HIM, right?

When we strategically position ourselves to reach out to people however different they are from us (Christians or non-Christians), we can win them for Christ. Jesus himself came for the unrighteous. That is the heart of mission. For many of us, God opened our eyes to the people around us and how we can reach them in non-intimidating ways.

Gulu’s alcohol law. Launched!

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Last Tuesday was a milestone in our ‘Wakonye Kenwa’ group’s long struggle to bring alcohol regulation to Gulu town, and ban sachet alcohol. Over a year ago we coordinated a march to deliver over 10000 signatures to the local District Government to ensure they completed the law: we marched from a church to the District. This time, the march started at the District where our law was passed, and ended at Gulu Main Market, the District’s commercial hub where enforcement will start.

Check out our highlights video, including some of my favourite moments:

“Don’t drink sachets, drink…. porridge!” (Confused? Here you definitely ‘drink’ porridge, not eat it. Preferably with added peanut butter and lemon juice, mmmm). One of Gulu’s beloved ‘street personalities’ dancing to two 11 year-old gangsta’s Acholi rap about the harms of alcohol consumption. Our Resident District Commissioner (a top position in the District) drilling the crowd on the enforcement start date, 6th December, 2016. And of course, everybody’s highlight, Wakonye Kenwa Group’s drama featuring Otim Isaac as ‘Okech,’ the drunkard. I should probably add a preface that there is a somewhat black sense of humor here in Gulu. Perhaps decades of war and trauma have resulted in turning dark things into melodrama and comedy in order to cope. So to warn you, yes, there is a suicide scene, and I’m afraid yes, the crowd is in hysterics. Remember many things included in western plays/films/songs seem inappropriate to people here! Feeling the unity and ownership. There weren’t any half-hearted speeches from disinterested politicians or other leaders. There is a shared feeling in Gulu that the time is ripe for this. Throughout this whole process we are yet to encounter much serious resistance. Maybe it will come when enforcement begins.

Let me let you in on a little secret (shhhhh…) I’m not really that into big events, and definitely not into organizing them. To pull this event off, we coordinated multiple NGOs to join the effort…think tents, chairs, brass bands, radio announcements, police escorts, banners, water bottle distribution, sound system, organizing the VIP speakers, getting tons of people to the same place at the same time…. So whats the point of all this faffing? After all, the law is already passed, right? Isn’t it a waste of time and money?

The reality is that in Uganda, laws often don’t mean all that much. Even if a law is officially passed by council, approved by the Attorney General, published in the national gazette, it can still result in absolutely no practical change. A whole lot of people have to know about the law, understand the law, and feel like it is their law. They have to believe their leaders think its important, and believe authorities are serious enough to make arrests, press charges, burn big piles of confiscated sachets. They have to feel like its worth it to kick up a massive fuss if they don’t see police enforcing the new law.

So that’s why we did the launch. And… it worked! There is big buzz about the new alcohol law and the sachet ban on the streets in Gulu and almost constantly on the radio. We are all holding our breath to see what will happen on the 6th December. Enforcement day.

Opening St Philip Mini-Hospital

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It seems there are ‘wins’ all round for Nick and Tessa Laing. You’ve just seen the amazing progress Tessa’s group has made in bringing new alcohol regulations to their region. Nick has also been hard at work as you’ll see in this video.

As part of our Bishop’s seven years on the job celebration, we officially opened the monstrous 25 room St Philip mini-hospital. Some people, schools and churches reading this article gave money to this cause so a huge thank you. In the video above you can get a glimpse of the outcome!

Important people were everywhere. The Minister of Primary Healthcare was supposed to open it, but in her absence the minister of foreign affairs did the honours instead. He even made a comment about the Christchurch earthquake! Tessa videod my mini-speech. I was supposed to get 2 minutes but I was cut to 30 seconds due to time constraints.


To see some more photos from the event click here.

We’re All Called to Belong (Issue 29)

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By Paul Thaxter (CMS UK).

The Church Mission Society emerged from an informal mission community, the so called Clapham Sect. This group of people met together, ate and prayed together, and were in and out of each other’s homes. It was energetic group of diverse, influential leaders being shaped by God’s mission in Christ. Led by the Spirit they set up CMS to work for social and moral reform in the UK, to spread the Gospel in Africa and Asia, and to abolish the slave trade.

Since those early day over 10000 people have crossed cultures and continents to share the Good News of Jesus through CMS. Importantly, they’ve been supported not simply by the CMS organisation but by the wider CMS community. In fact, for many to join CMS isn’t just a membership commitment but rather a welcome into a mission family that understands and values them and sees mission as much bigger than any human enterprise. That’s why I’m delighted by a renewed CMS emphasis on regular people putting the call into action wherever they made be.


The development of new creative Christian communities is vital in the West for the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel. As CMS began to encourage emerging church movements and pioneers working in the UK, we realised we needed to re-imagine and re-define what membership of CMS means. We were keen to continue to encourage all followers of Jesus to play an active role in mission both locally and globally. As we became an acknowledged community by the Church of England, CMS UK has been recognised as being a community that encourages the wider church into mission.

We wanted to renew the idea that membership in CMS means participating, praying and learning in God’s mission together – and by doing these things we grow as a true community with a contemporary purpose. Developing a missional lifestyle is key to our community and our discipleship. Whilst many of our older members radiate this practice, newer members are attracted by the offer of belonging to such an intentional mission community with a global as well as a local outlook.


Community is the enabler of mission. When we’re talking about the ‘belong’ of mission, we’re not just talking about belonging to a nice social club. Mission always happens best in community. Think of the early church in Acts. Sure, there were some key leaders who played important roles, but when 3000 people came to faith, they were “added to their number” – they were welcomed into a community. And in many cases today, people come to faith and experience the richness of God’s Kingdom by being accepted within a community – oftentimes, ‘belonging’ actually happens before people come to believe in Jesus. Without a community to welcome people into, mission doesn’t happen.

Community is also the context of mission. Too often we desire to be more missional, but we can feel alone in it – honestly, it can be pretty crippling. Going out and finding ways to engage your neighbourhood by yourself can be discouraging and difficult. If it all rests of your shoulders, it often amounts to little. Mission happens best when a group of people – a ‘missional community’ if you will – has decided that together they’ll reach out to a particular location or group of people. Synergy is created by engaging together. My weaknesses are overcome by your strengths and vice versa. By working together, we can do significantly more than if each of us went about it alone. How sad is it, then, that many who are passionate about mission in our backyards feel so alone and isolated in it!

So let’s remember, we’re all called to belong to God’s family of mission.

Paul is the Director of International Mission for CMS UK. He’s previously worked as an economist, a church planter and helped lead a drug rehabilitation project in South Asia.


For discussion

What difference does (or would) belonging to a mission-focused community make for you?

As someone called to belong to God’s community of mission service, what’s his challenge to you and your group when it comes to belonging?