Celebrating the arrival of Calvin Samuel, the new Head of London School of Theology, this week was excellent. Last week I also really enjoyed commending and promoting the work of 35 different mission organisations on the radio and from the speakers platform. It was a real privilege and honour for me to support and commend the work of these different groups to an audience of churches, students and influential people from across the country.Read more
Two cathedrals hit the news this month for interfaith engagement. The first was Glasgow where during a service of worship there was a reading from the Qur’an (Sura Miriam) which includes a fairly docetic picture of Jesus (The baby Jesus speaks out in defence of his mother). An English translation of the passage was available in the order of service. However, the reader went past the section outlined to include verses that specifically deny the Sonship and divinity of Jesus. Whoops. Cue a lot of concerned and upset feedback (and rightly so, in my opinion).
The Triune God is the instigator of mission and, through the sacrifice of the Son and the empowering presence of the Spirit, he is also the one who guarantees the success of mission. However, true to his relational nature the Triune God invites us to participate in mission with him. Our participation in God’s work is a gift from Him.
One of the most hidden roles in mission are the trustee boards. The men and women to whom the CEOs report. They meet several times a year, often volunteering their time and talents for free – but carrying ultimate responsibility for our churches, charities and mission agencies.Read more
“Give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, come back and we’ll try something else.”
How many of us have heard those words from the leader of our sending church or mission agency? Likely very few, because the possibility of failure is usually the elephant in the room, carefully tiptoed around as we discuss prayer, faith and strategy.
The cities of the world are crucial places for Christian mission. We can see this from the very beginnings of the church: in Acts, Paul goes to Athens, the intellectual centre of the Greco-Roman world; Corinth, one of the commercial centres of the empire; Ephesus, perhaps the Roman world’s religious centre as the hub of many pagan cults and particularly of the imperial cult; and to Rome, the empire’s power capital, the military and political centre of that world. John Stott concludes: “It seems to have been Paul’s deliberate policy to move purposefully from one strategic city-centre to the next.”Read more
When my wife was a babe in arms, the family was involved in a head-on car crash, which propelled her through the windscreen and over the bonnet. The little bundle bounced down the road and into the bushes. She was eventually found but what saved her life was a thing called ‘torsion’.
When I flew into Heathrow from Islamabad in winter, the runway was frosted over, so the pilot used auto-pilot. The plane landed with a hard thump and the fuselage contorted; lockers flew open; bags fell out and people screamed! Apparently it’s ‘torsion’ that stops aircrafts breaking up.
The dictionary says: ‘Torsion is an engineering term for the action of twisting or being twisted’. So “pressure” bears down on us but ‘torsion’ twists us. Here are a few missional applications:Read more
In my previous blog, I suggested that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presented a challenge and an opportunity for the church. But what do they mean for mission?
In his new book ‘The Day the Revolution Began: Rethinking the meaning of Jesus’ Crucifixion’, NT Wright challenges many popular evangelical understandings of the Cross of Christ:
Most Western Christians have been taught that Jesus died so that they could escape the results of sin and go to heaven after they die. The New Testament, however, regularly speaks of Jesus’ death as the defeat of the powers of evil that have kept the world in captivity, with the implication that the world is actually going to change as a result—through the life and work and witness of those who believe this good news…”Read more
This weekend my husband and I were privileged to deliver training for new ministers in our denomination regarding the foundations of mission. The objective was to facilitate thought around leading churches with a heart for the Great Commission.
What is in the heart of the leader often forms the DNA and emphasis of the church in question. So my hypothesis is that for leaders to be missional, they need to truly believe that the Great Commission is still relevant for today plus they need to have a personal revelation of what that might look like from a church perspective; locally and globally.
In this blog post I aim to highlight some potential ways to promote mission, seeing the Great Commission reside at the heart of church leaders.Read more
Having read the small print would you sign up for this? Would you want your son or daughter to go? This is how Jesus describes the short-term mission trip he sends the 72 disciples on in Luke 10.
Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves…
If we are going on a short-term trip because we think it will be fun or an adventure, we are missing the point. It might be, but our focus must be on our witness and obedience to Jesus. Mission is a serious business – even short-term. These 72 were appointed by Jesus – what a great privilege and responsibility. So are we! They were sent ahead of Jesus to places He planned to visit – keeping that perspective in mind will bring a new dimension to our trip.