By Rosie Fyfe
NZCMS National Director
Co-Sending Mission Partners with AsiaCMS
This year, NZCMS started a new initiative with Asia CMS to ‘co-send’ Mission Partners together. AsiaCMS is part of the global CMS network. They were founded 10 years ago with the intention of partnering with and support indigenous mission movements in Asia. Their vision of mission is indigenously Asia, with a focus to engage the least-reached people groups in Asia with the Gospel, and engage in strategic spheres of mission.
One way they do this is sending ‘Co-Mission Partners’ to strategic mission roles in their own or near culture contexts. The term ‘Co-Mission Partner’ describes the vision of sending together in partnership. AsiaCMS is responsible for the discernment, appointment, and pastoral oversight, while NZCMS contributes funding and commits to prayer.
Why is NZCMS supporting Co-Mission Partners?
NZCMS continues to send Mission Partners from New Zealand to serve globally. However, we know that mission is no longer a one-way venture, but mission is ‘from everywhere to everywhere.’ The global CMS Network seeks to live this out by working together in mission.
Jay Mātenga, head of Missions Interlink in New Zealand, writes about the importance of the church co-creating together.
“I fundamentally believe God does not change, but our circumstances do, and our global context and the global Church is very different than it was even at the turn of the century. The problems have changed. When I was new to missions, the problem was the lack of workers willing to serve “unreached” peoples…If we switch perspectives and view God’s purpose from the perspective of World Christianity, we suddenly see billions of ‘workers’ already in the harvest, in every geopolitical nation in the world, alongside pockets where the Gospel is not yet germinating. I say germinating rather than planted because the seed may well already be available through mass media or hearsay, but just not contextually comprehensible in the minds of the people.
By holding on to traditional perspectives of missions (which are, in actuality, less than 230 years old), I think we are at serious risk of missing the marvel that the Spirit of God is doing in our lifetime.
World Christianity is larger and more culturally/ethnically diverse than it ever has been in the history of the Church and that changes things. Expatriate roles (whether from the West or new sending nations) are changing. The way we collaborate with local believers needs to change. What we communicate about our faith needs to be even more sensitive to contextual influences.
The problem, as I am starting to see it, is not so much that we need more believers to go cross-culturally but that we need to be willing to co-create more effectively with those already there. The problem is a lack of true unity within the global Church. If we invest deeply in co-creative relationships with believers in places where the Gospel is ready to sprout indigenously in the hearts and minds of people, we will see deep outcomes. The solution to a lack of Gospel emergence is working alongside fellow disciples already there or nearby. Deeper outcomes for God’s purposes await if we will humbly commit to co-creating together” (sourced from December Missions Interlink Bulletin)
Who are the Co-Mission Partners NZCMS support now?
We are currently supporting a couple who have established a pioneering ministry in South Asia. The centre equips and mentors leaders and facilitates initiatives for community transformation. Both have extensive study in this area.
What we’re inviting you into
We praise God that he has provided the funding necessary to support this work. Therefore we invite you to join us in prayer for this new initiative. Pray that it will bear much fruit and would continue to grow in impact and in the number of Co-Mission Partners we support.
Because much of our Co-Mission Partner’s information cannot be published online, we are sharing their prayer requests via our bi-monthly print publication Prayer Fuel. You can subscribe to this here.
I love this commissioning message. I pray for j& z.
Will you go, not to be served, but to serve;
will you allow the word to be made flesh in your lives;
will you live simply, setting aside your right to affluence;
will you cherish community with your team and your neighbours;
and will you bear witness to the Gospel, in all its dimensions?
Also, will you be gracious with yourselves and with others;
will you celebrate with generosity;
will you honour God’s hand of beauty within and around you;
will you encourage creativity and imagination;
and at the end of the day, will you enjoy the Creator’s gift of rest?
I’m pleased to know of the commitment alongside AsiaCMS. I am aware of the spread of the Gospel in Singapore and outreach from there into other Asian ethnicities.
I like this new initiative. I get news from Gospel For Asia which trains indigenous people, educates children in their Schools of Hope, and builds wells to provide good water in villages.
You have probably already heard of GFA!