This evening we interviewed Clive from Southampton but in Lymington. it was to gather some survey data for OMF regarding relationships between churches and missionaries.
it took all of 30 minutes so not very long, I think that the most interesting thing about Clive’s church in Southampton was how it’s mission links are dependant on their congregation member’s relationships to the missionaries. Often mission organisations such as YWAM, OMF and Wycliffe were not even considered by this church unless their missionary contacts had specifically mentioned them. in one case this particular church sent a couple out to Kenya to live as missionaries; and besides the couple themselves, it was only the church offering facility, prayer and sponsorship. Mission organisations exist to care for missionaries in ways of advising on visas, budgeting, scheduling, language training etc. so I was really surprised to hear that some people do go out into the international field without that net of support.
This made me wonder if some churches even know what such organisations do, asking if they are really necessary… maybe.
The survey is also collecting data on how churches prepare people for mission and make people aware of mission. this particular church in Southampton did not promote the idea that maybe some their congregation members should consider it, but that didn’t some some people from expressing interest – it’s good how God just calls people out of the blue to serve in this way where they are gifted for it.
But then what about people like me, I never expressed an interest in mission out of the blue, I had to have the idea sold to me first (I still didn’t want to go then but that’s a long story). So I do think that churches should do more to promote the idea of life as a missionary but it’s really no problem if they don’t.
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