GoForth National Missions Conference 2014
Dates: 9-11 Jul 2014
Venue: Trinity Christian Centre@PayaLebar
Theme: The Whole Church in the Whole World
1. The Whole Church: reminds us that the Great Commission needs to involve
Every Church, Every Congregation, Every Member, every Christian.
It is not only for career missionaries, clergy and pastors or those who serve in mission committees or mission agencies who have a special call. These are needed.
The Great Commission calls every Christian, who is called as a member of the Church to participate in missions as witnesses, whether as sender or the sent.
Every member has spheres of influence (using John Calvin/Abraham Kuyper’s reference) at home, at work, in the community and in the world. As such each Christian can reach the individual spheres of influence for Christ. Hence each church has many spheres of influence as each Christian brings his or her own spheres of influence together as a church. As a result the Whole Church coming together can have a great outreach in missions.
Hence the Whole Church must get every member involved in missions in every way, small ways, big ways, strategic ways.
Missions also is not limited to the big, strong, resource rich churches. Newer churches, smaller churches, less resource-rich churches can and must also participate in missions. Missions come not only from strong sending nations. Smaller nations and smaller churches, especially from the many different ethnographic groups, from the 200 countries can and must participate in missions. The many ethnolinguistic churches and dialect congregations can and must participate in missions because they are part of the Whole Church in Singapore.
GoForth 2014 calls for the Whole Church to be mobilized and to participate in missions.
2. The Whole Church IN the Whole World…
Missions also must not be seen as a programme, a trip or an interest group per se.
The Whole Church is called to exist for missions.
As Emil Brunner puts it, just as fire exists for burning, the church exists for missions.
The missiological basis of the Church is the key theological underpinning of the church’s purpose for existence. Every church is therefore necessarily missional.
The Whole Church therefore is called to participate in missions, with the preposition “IN” reminding us of the need for us to be embedded, to be incarnate in the world as we participate in missions.
We are planted in the world to reveal Christ in the world. That is our mission, to reveal Christ in the world just as He came to reveal Himself in the world.
The incarnation is the great message of the gospel that God so loved the world that he gave His Son, so that His Son came and was incarnated in the world he loves and died for. Incarnation is also a key method of revealing God’s saving grace and love.
Hence the church, as the community o loving believers, must be intentionally incarnational in the world we have been placed.
3. The Whole World
Our Christian missions call forth the Whole Church to be engaged in the Whole World – not just the mountains and the villages, the poor and marginalized but in the towns and cities, among the professionals and intellectuals and decision-makers.
In other words, we are to go to the Whole World, to the places where the church is weak as well as to the places where there is no church at all, to the audiences which are receptive as well as those which may be hostile, serving arena where Christian vision and values would be welcomed as well as in places where evil reigns and corruption is rampant.
To accomplish this missionary mandate, we need the Whole Church , using everyone, every methodology and every strategy.