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The minister sat in his study

He was praying through the church roll. He was asking the Lord what his purposes were for the church members. He knew his own temptation to think only about how the work of the local congregation might grow. But he had been preaching through the book of Acts, rejoicing in the growth of the Gospel throughout the world and encouraging his members to have a part in that. Their local outreach was bringing the Gospel to people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. But in terms of reaching the world without Christ it was such a small part. His prayers included Jim and Jane who had been sent out as missionaries in the 1970s. The church had supported and followed their work, but had not seen anyone follow them into world mission. Why hadn’t anyone else moved in that direction? And then he reflected on his passage for the coming Sunday – Acts 13. The Holy Spirit told the church in Antioch to separate Saul and Barnabas for missionary work.

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Heroes in mission: William Carey

William Carey was a poor Northamptonshire shoemaker who is better known today as the ‘father of modern missions’.  Despite his humble origins he was an intelligent though uneducated man, who taught himself several languages, acquired skills as a craftsman, and became a schoolmaster and a Baptist minister by the time he was 25.

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Issues Facing Mission Today: Finance

This is a follow on from two recent posts and is part of a hard hitting segment from a much longer blog post on the Bible and Mission blog by Rollin Grams – go here for the full blog.

“The approach to financing missions is disconnected to the mission of the Church.  When missionaries are asked to articulate their own sense of calling to a particular ministry in order to raise support from a host of churches in the west, there is a ‘hole’ in the ‘system’ for financing.

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Get to Work – Get to Mission

Millennials, we’re told, expect to remain in a job for just under three years. That could mean 15-20 jobs in a working life. For many, job-hopping is a strategy to gain more experience, and part of the search for greater job fulfillment.

In the book, Work Matters, Paul Stevens says we need to consider the purpose of God for our lives right where we are, in the job that we’re doing, rather than view life as haphazard chance. With an Esther-like perspective, we’re to recognise that we’ve been placed in ‘such a place and time as this’.

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Shall I?

Shall I leave the prints of my knees upon the sandy beach,

A record of my final prayer in my native land?

Shall I suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict?

Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean?

King of the glorious heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

O Christ will you help me on the wild waves?

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The African Village Mission – Episode 2

A few months later.

‘ Hi John. Long time no see,’ said George as he saw John coming into the pub.

‘Yes,’ said John, ‘ I haven’t had much time to come here since we started the African Village Mission.’

‘What has been happening then?’

‘Well it hasn’t gone as smoothly as I had hoped. There are times when I think you may have been right to be cautious…’Read more

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Learning from God’s Global Church

The church started in the Middle East, spread to Europe, Asia, Africa, and then later to the Americas. Today there are more Christians in the majority world, than the West. Christianity was never a European religion and it definitely isn’t today.

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The Bible tells us that, though we are scattered across the world, we are one family, one body. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it, if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. (I Cor 12:26).

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Issues Facing Mission Today: Lack of Training

This is a follow on from another recent post and is part of a hard hitting segment from a much longer blog post on the Bible and Mission blog by Rollin Grams – for the full blog see http://bibleandmission.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/issues-in-missions-today-2-loss-of.html

“Missionaries have little understanding of the mission of the Church and little training to accomplish this mission.  Sure, not you, or not the missionary you support—I’m talking about the other ones.  I could come at this from various directions.  Here is one. Read more

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The African Village Mission – Episode 1

‘That was a great trip we had to Africa’, said John as he met George in the local pub. ‘The young people are really enthused by all they were able to do to help that village. They would like to do something more.

‘What sort of thing were you thinking about?’ asked George

‘Well, something more permanent. I think we should set up a charity to help the village regularly. I have spoken to the minister and he thinks it would be a good idea if we started an African Village Mission.’

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Vision

Issues Facing Mission Today: The Loss of Vision

This is a hard hitting segment from a much longer blog post[1] on the Bible and Mission blog by Rollin Grams .

“Most mission agencies have lost the vision of mission.  Yes, it is true—and I am not trying to be sensationalist about this.  I’m not saying that they have the wrong mission—they probably have pretty well worked out mission statements, and they likely are all passionate about their stated mission.  True, some of the agencies have such broad statements of what their vision for mission is that they lack any focus (I have worked for mission agencies like this, and it makes ministry difficult as there is little support from the mission for your ministry).  The problem with mission agencies typically lies not in their vision and mission statements, though, but in their practice of mission.  Let’s set aside mission agencies with a singular focus, such as Bible translation, relief support, development, or medical missions.  Let’s talk about the ‘sending agency’ missions.  Someone gets excited about foreign missions in a local church and is directed to a mission sending agency.  They get screened with the usual screening: they are Christian, can articulate some sense of calling into missions, pass a battery of psychological tests, and seem to have a way of fitting into the many things going on in the mission agency’s fields of ministry.  This is enough to convince people that some kind of mission is taking place. Read more