Jul 2009    

ARE WE ONE? We have 44 Methodist Churches in Singapore. In Christ, we are one. According to our Methodist Book of Discipline, we are one. According to Singapore Law, we are one. But opera-tionally, we are quite separate. We hardly know what the next church is doing.

For the next two months, my team has decided that we would like to find out a little of what the Lord has been doing through each of our 44 churches and three Annual Conferences in the area of missions. We believe that, while it is good that we have 44 churches working independently to fulfil the great commis-sion in their own way, the Lord may want us to cooperate and work together a little more. Do you agree?

If you do, please join us on Saturday, Aug 29, from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm for the Methodist Missions Action Seminar. Please register for this seminar at mms@ methodist.org.sg or call 6478-4818. There is no seminar fee. A free will offering will be taken to help defray costs.

Better information will lead to better connection. We will present to you a summary of what the Singapore Methodist family has been doing in missions.

Better connection will lead to better cooperation. The churches that are stronger in the missions should help those that are weaker.

Better cooperation will lead to bet-ter action. Our MMS missionaries will be present to give you first-hand information about opportunities for involvement.

Here are a few ideas we have picked up from our interaction with Methodists in missions. Each of them will be ad-dressed in a workshop at the seminar:

1. Constructive Help for the Desperately Poor –
We need to be very rigorous in our thinking and action here. Charity is sometimes abused. But that must not prevent us from being charitable.

2. Simple Church Planting –
All over the world, the Holy Spirit is leading thousands to faith in Jesus through this strategy. Perhaps the Lord may want to use you or your church to help plant many new simple churches. This model, which resembles the early churches described in the book of Acts, is very different from what we are used to here in Singapore.

3. Lay Missionaries: “Tent Makers” –
We believe that in addition to calling a few into “full-time” missionary service, the Lord will raise up many Methodist “lay missionaries”. If you travel regularly for business or pleasure, the Lord may want you to equip yourself to maximise these trips for His global mission.

4. Missionary Care –
Our missionaries sacrifice a lot to bring the Gospel to the nations. Do you want to care for them?

5. Teaching English: A bridge for evangelism –
To be effective, we must do this very well. There are so many methods to teach English. We will come together and share best practices.

6. Mission field on our Doorstep –
While this is no substitute for going to the nations, we should also evangelise the nations that have come to us. Getting involved with cross-cultural outreach with foreign workers in Singapore will further enhance your missions programme.

I hope you will come and meet fellow Methodists to sharpen your thinking and response to the challenge of global missions. We are one.

The Rev Dr Norman Wong is the Executive Director of the Methodist Missions Society


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