‘Local mission’ can sometimes feel much harder than ‘overseas mission’ – particularly when our immediate families, friends or colleagues are involved. How can we engage people who are not interested in attending church events?
This month two dozen participants attended Local Mission workshops held in Singapore intended to help them wrestle with what Scripture has to say about the Gospel, culture and the Kingdom of God. All had previously been aware that many of their ‘non-Christian’ family and friends were unwilling to step into church contexts and had wrestled with how to bring together their love for Jesus and His people, and desire to effectively engage in the harvest.
Over one and half days they discovered simple keys hidden in plain sight in the life and message of Jesus and the apostles, and the broader story of the Bible. This opened up unexpected possibilities for helping people in the harvest engage with Jesus and the Bible in the context of their own communities. The final part of the workshop involved participants brainstorming how they could apply their insights from Jesus and Paul to the different cultures represented by their family, friends and colleagues.
Participants were asked about their main take-aways from the time:
‘There is hope yet. Lol. I can do this – we can do this. I’m not crazy and I’m not alone. What I’ve been desiring for the longest time is not heretical – a move of God.’
‘How we express to others can draw them away from God’
‘Importance of knowing the words and following the footsteps of Jesus.’
‘We need to understand more of other cultures; be more aware of aspects of Christian culture which are blockages.’
‘Religiosity is not spirituality. Religiosity repels spirituality draws.’
‘Being able to discuss openly and dissect and see a little clearer how to relate with other cultures from a place of humility and also love.’
‘Kingdom bridges, ie the common kingdom values between us and other religions and cultures.’
‘to point people to Jesus regardless of your church’.
‘Stay focused on God’s message to people’.
‘Jesus is not the same as Christian culture’.
’Be simple and faithful in the Kingdom work’.
‘Rely on Scripture to define the Gospel and filter off Christian jargon that is related but confusing’.
‘It helps me to fully understand what is the Gospel defined’.
‘The Gospel is about the Kingdom of God, not just Jesus came to reconcile us to God and have eternal life. Not just about repentance of sin, but repentance from following voices other than God.’