|Bishop's Message (Nov 2021)|
“Your mission, should you choose to accept it …”
When someone said “mission”, I used to imagine holy hat-wearing humans in hot and humid huts, preaching the happy Gospel of God’s love.
But, as our Methodist Missions Society (MMS) reminds us, everyone can be involved in God’s holy Mission. Here’s what I wrote on the theme of everyone being a partner in Mission, which first appeared in MMS’s Harvest Force magazine earlier this year.
The missionary apostle Paul begins his letter to the disciples in Philippi by thanking God for their “partnership in the gospel” (Philippians 1:5 NIV). Every one of us can be partners in God’s Mission of sharing the Good News.
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
When we think about the problems that confront us, and our world, it is easy to lose heart and give up. We become paralyzed by despair. We might think, “What’s the use? I am only one person in a world of seven billion. Even if I try to do something, it won’t change anything.”
I confess I feel like that very often. But Max Lucado’s paraphrase of clergyman Edward Everett Hale’s exhortation spurs me on: “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
That is the beauty and power of partnership. I may be only one person, but if I partner with you, we are more than one. If we each do what little we can, we can do much more together. Not all of us have the aptitude or availability to be a missionary in a foreign country. But some of us do. And each of us can partner with those who are able to go out as missionaries.
Not every local church has the budget to finance a missionary, but other churches do. And if we partner with one another, we together contribute to the wonderful work of the Gospel.
MMS would love to partner with you, and help you partner with other churches. Whether you are a local church, or an individual, there are many different possible ways in which we can be partners in the wonderful mission of sharing the Good News of God’s love in Christ Jesus. Please get in touch with MMS and explore these many different possibilities.
I was asked recently to define my understanding of success in ministry. Let me offer you an answer from Edward Hale again. “Together—one of the most inspiring words in the English language. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Working together is success.
Let’s choose to accept the Mission to Love God By Loving Our Neighbours, and let’s do it together. Amen.
Bishop Dr Gordon Wong –was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020.
He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012-2020.