In praise of prayer groups

A central role for any sending church is prayer for those they send. J.O. Fraser, missionary to China in the early part of the 20th century*, learnt much about prayer while bringing the gospel to the Lisu people. He came to realize the vital part that the prayers of those back in the UK had to play in seeing fruit in his labours. To his main prayer support team he wrote,

I am not asking you just to give ‘help’ in prayer as a sort of side line, but I am trying to roll the main responsibility of this prayer warfare on you. I want you to take the burden of these people upon your shoulders. I want you to wrestle with God for them.

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Call on Him

Stress, burnout, overworking… These seem to be common features of both the secular workplace and missions today.

Whilst God created work (Genesis 1:28) and commends diligence (Proverbs 21:5), we often stray well beyond that into unhealthy patterns of overwork.

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Regaining a Passion For Mission

Reclaiming our Imagination

It is said once you reach 40 the imaginative side of your brain begins to die and life is increasingly navigated from the bearings of previous experience. In my 20’s I was very hopeful about my personal future impact on mission and had a tremendous vision to see thousands of churches and individuals taking their place in the Great Commission. With youth and inexperience I charted out an adventurous course which saw some modest successes and many deflating disappointments. I am now 39; this is not necessarily a scary age when I will suddenly deplete in personal vision and begin to live out of set programming. Yet I see the potential to lose my fire and passion for the Great Commission as the self talk of so called ‘maturity’ informs me of what supposedly can and can’t be realistically achieved.Read more

Regaining Fresh Hope and Vision for Our Own Calling

A soul searching question: ‘why did you get involved in mission?’ We each have our unique stories of how we found ourselves serving and working within the mission context. For most of us reading the blog I would dare to suggest that it was something far deeper than financial gain or prestige that led us into our current role.

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. Prov 29:18Read more

They had been with Jesus

Why does Jesus call us?

Perhaps we’ve never really pondered that question before.  We might initially think of reasons such as he needs us to be witnesses, to serve him, to worship him, to pray to him on behalf of others.  And all these would be valid activities and not a waste of our time.  And some of us have particular callings to these activities.  But they’re not the primary reason why Jesus called us. Read more

Safety in numbers

We all know the idea of safety in numbers, whether it’s herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the Serengeti, or shoals of mackerel avoiding predators like tuna. But we might not have noticed that trees do the same. A few tree species produce winged seeds that catch the wind and fly far away, but most, like the oak, produce heavy ones that don’t fall far from the parent tree, so that they can build up a forest around them for protection.

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Bricks without straw – Part 2

‘Hi John’, said the Pastor as he made a follow up Skype call to his young missionary,  ‘how are you?’

Not too bad. I’ve apologised to the language supervisor and begun to follow his advice. I have found someone my own age at the local coffee shop and he’s also an Arsenal supporter. So I have increased my football vocabulary.

That is good John. Now I said I would get back to you about the church prayer support. I have spoken with the chair of the Mission Committee and some of the other leaders. They backed my support of your language supervisor and agreed that you should concentrate on getting into the local scene and stop feeling that you have to keep in touch with us every day. An email every month or so should give us some prayer fuel.  We don’t want to always have to make bricks without straw in our prayer times!

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