Last Sunday we were privileged to have Rev Dr Stuart Brooking ministering to us on our second mission Sunday of the year. He challenged us to rethink missions.
The traditional approach was that we in the western world have got it and they do not have it, thus we take it to them. However, in the last 200 years missions have changed and Rev Dr Stuart Brooking shared three principles.
First, there are now churches in all countries, and some of the non-western world churches are very vibrant and strong; Christ is our Lord and also theirs. Christ has already disarmed powers and authorities (Colossians 2:15). The issues are (i) do we train, trust and empower the next generation, (ii) when we take the message of Christ to others, do we take our ethnicity/culture or do we take Christ, and what aspects of our ethnicity/culture needs to be conformed to Christ?
Secondly, the Holy Spirit is in our church and theirs (Romans 1:7; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1). When we go to a foreign country, are we convinced that the Spirit is there in their churches or are we suspicious? The question is are we there with a critical understanding or a critical spirit? We should not use our experience as the norm but go with love and understanding.
Thirdly, God is our generous father and theirs (2 Corinthians 8:13-15). There are now more Christians outside the west than in the west. God uses one part of the church in one era and another in a different time. For example, we need a strong African church now for Europe. As we do mission, we need to remember the above three principles which will help us to pray, make disciples, give, and appreciate God more. Hallelujah and God bless!
Pastor Boo Teong