Before COVID19 I read this quote ‘a crisis often triggers a paradigm shift’. My prayer in this time of global crisis has been to ask God to align my thinking and mindset with what He is doing across the earth, both among the nations and our own local community.
Pastor Tony Uddin leads Tower Hamlets Community Church in East London and also serves on the AOG mission team. Recently Tony shared with our team how his church is responding to mission through Covid 19. It helped shift my paradigm and I asked him to write something to help the wider AOG family. I hope it triggers something in your thinking for you and your church to reflect and respond to mission during this season.
World Mission: how do we respond to the Covid 19 situation?
How do we respond to a global emergency? By thinking in a global and strategic way. Pandemics by their very nature impact people across that world and are spread mostly by the wealthy who can travel but felt most painfully by the poor. Covid 19 has brought a huge amount of difficulty and suffering and has shifted everyday life for most of us far beyond what we would have imagined.
In order to respond to something globally, we as Christians need to make sure that our reaction is also global and not just local. In terms of World Mission it means that we must resist the urge to simply prioritise our own needs over those of our global workers and partners. We have to see the current situation as an opportunity to invest more into mission and not less.
As a local Church we have had to deal with the very real effect that the lockdown has had on finances and yet have come to the conclusion that we need to increase our giving to mission not decrease it. The reasons for this are simple and yet compelling:
1. Firstly - most of our mission partners are in places far less well equipped to deal with the situation then we are here. For our partners working, for example, the slums of South Asia where it is common for 10 people to share a two-room shack and 150 people share three toilets, this is not a realistic possibility and in such communities where the poor live on $2 per day, there is a very real risk of starvation as livelihoods of day workers are taken away with no compensation.
2. Secondly- If mission is genuinely our priority, it can’t just be something that we are prepared to sacrifice when things get tough. In hard times we draw on our families, and for us, our mission partners are family which means that we are in regular contact and want them to know that we have their backs.
3. Thirdly, because commitment is genuinely tested when we are in need. We want our mission partners to know that we are committed to them and we communicate that to the church by having a mission partner slot our online services.
We are not a large or wealthy Church but we are one with mission at its heart and I want to challenge each of us to have big and generous hearts and increase what we are sowing into world mission at this time.
Pastor Tony Uddin
Mission Champions Gathering ONLINE - Saturday 20th June, 10am-11.30am
We are passionate about seeing every local church mobilised to fulfil their God graced mission. A key strategy of this is for each church to have a mission champion, someone who works with the leadership team to champion mission, both locally and globally.
This is the FIRST Mission Champions gathering and you are invited to join in with other mission champions to be equipped and inspired in mission.
Please register here and we look forward to meeting you and/or your mission champion and going on this missional journey with you.
Creating a mission ripple effect together
Vision without strategy is merely a pipe dream. We learn from the biblical account in Nehemiah, that having a vision, a burden and a deep passion for the transformation of a city is not enough. We need a strategy, resources and the right people (to mention a few) to complete the mission.
Our Mission Forums are designed to bring together likeminded leaders, missionaries, apostolic leaders and representatives from missions organisations to create the opportunity to share knowledge, experience, resources and contacts. We believe we are stronger together and that partnership is a key to achieving mission. Therefore we want to design projects and strategies, and take new initiatives together.
These forums are critical to our goal of become a missionally focused movement of churches. We cannot continue to just passionately preach about missions, inspire people to go, talk about the issues, pray and receive offerings. We must be strategic and intentional in our response.
Forums are being held on India, Europe, Balkans, Africa, Human Trafficking and reaching ethnic communities. Other nations and causes will be addressed in the future.
"Connecting with big hearted people has helped me to dream bigger and reinforced the strength of the dreams I already have."
"Encouraged by what is being done in Africa but there is still a lot more that can be done. I think we are on the right track."
"Very inspiring. Received fresh vision to do better."
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