Everyone Sent

Apr 14, 2022 | News

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By Rosie Fyfe, NZCMS National Director

Each of us at NZCMS shares a deep passion: to see the church enga­ging in mission. We exist to enable this – as a sending organ­isa­tion, we provide resources, prayer support, and logist­ics to send people into mission.

Who, then, is a mis­sion­ary? To unpack this, we need to look back­wards briefly and reflect on how our answer has developed over time.

NZCMS was founded in 1892, in response to the chal­lenge from CMS UK to “take your own share in the evan­gel­isa­tion of the world: send out your own mis­sion­ar­ies and support them.” At that time, mission was pre­dom­in­antly from the ‘West to the rest’; and even now, many of us would think of a mis­sion­ary as someone who goes overseas.

At NZCMS, John 20:21 has become the focus of our reflec­tions on mission, helping us further under­stand the intent of Jesus’ call. When Jesus first appears to his dis­ciples after his resur­rec­tion, he says “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” It’s a broad com­mis­sion: Jesus sends all his dis­ciples into mission, not only those who go to distant places.

As fol­low­ers of Jesus, we are all called to be sent people – to live out and pro­claim God’s love in the world. If you think about it, global mission is just local mission some­where else; our global Mission Part­ners, sent out from NZ, will partner with local Chris­ti­ans as co-labour­ers. What all Chris­ti­ans have in common, wherever we are, is that we are sent out by Jesus into the world.

This lan­guage of sending is used through­out the Gospel of John. God the Father sends Jesus into the world: cru­cially, mission is first and fore­most God’s mission. As we read in the story of Scrip­ture, God has always been reach­ing out in love to His people, and the full expres­sion of this saving love is when God reaches out in the person of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus says “As the Father has sent me”, he uses the verb ‘send’ in an ongoing sense, not just as a ‘one-time’ sending. We as Christ’s dis­ciples do not take over Jesus’ mission, repla­cing him; but rather, his mission con­tin­ues and is effect­ive in our min­istry. The work we do is par­ti­cip­at­ing in Christ’s mission, not our own. Our service, placed in Christ’s hands, is to con­tinue his redempt­ive work as “the sent One” within this world which is so loved by God.

We work in the empower­ment of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus sends his dis­ciples in John 20:22, he breathes on them and says “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The calling is the same today. Mission is not just our own actions or good works. Mission is always done in God’s strength, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

All of this makes for a truly trans­form­at­ive vision of life together. God calls the church to be a sent com­munity of people, to par­ti­cip­ate with God in His redempt­ive pur­poses for the world. NZCMS con­tin­ues to send people glob­ally – to take the Gospel to places where Christ is not known, and to partner with local churches, empower­ing and train­ing local believ­ers. But even as we ‘send glob­ally’ we know that all Chris­ti­ans are ‘sent people,’ sent to live out and pro­claim the love of Christ wherever you find yourself.

Our artist has depic­ted this idea of ‘every­one sent’ through birds. Birds travel and move around. Some travel far and some not so far; some are from New Zealand, and some from other parts of the world. These beau­ti­ful bird illus­tra­tions sym­bol­ise how we work together in response to God’s leading: unique dis­ciples, moving with a common, uni­fy­ing purpose in mission.

Please spend time explor­ing our website – there is some­thing here for every­one, no matter where you find your­self on the journey of explor­ing mission. Join us – Everyone—Sent!

This article was also included in our Annual Report. Down­load here. 

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