2014 Magazine


Resourcing Mission

Tim Baker, the Magazine Editor, reflects on the learning from the conference and how we can take the spiritual resources from the weekend into our local and global contexts.

The great joy of MWM is its ability to remind us of the global nature of mission. In the wonderful collection of people who attend the conference, from a range of contexts and cultures, we are able to see something of the myriad of ways that God’s work is being done by the people called Methodists.

Often, in our own churches, it is easy to lose this sense that God’s mission is global and that we are part of something much bigger. We get drawn into local or internal politics, discussions about pews verses chairs, the dwindling finances, or what to do about the leaky roof. These concerns are vital in resourcing a discipleship movement shaped for mission – they help keep our buildings open and our activities running.

Surely, however, the most important resources for mission are the power of the Holy Spirit brought home to us in Christ, the sense that we are part of a divine mission belonging to our Creator, and pure, honest worship of a triune God.

There is much to be gained from conferences like MWM.

How do we continue to release those resources in ourselves, in our congregations and across our Connexion? There is much to be gained from conferences like MWM, and the opportunity to sit at the feet of inspiring teachers and preachers like Daleep, Jyoti and Vinod, but could we further enrich our local worship with the essence of a global, divine mission?

There were lots of difficult and complex issues uncovered and explored at this year’s MWM Conference, but one practical point I am taking away is to encourage a stronger sense of global mission in my local church and circuit.
Part of this is in worship – where our experience of being in church on a Sunday (or any other day of the week) can be enriched by the use of songs, prayers, ideas and theology from across the world church. In some of our more culturally diverse congregations this might involve encouraging more elements of worship to be led in languages other than English, or celebrating different cultural expressions of praise or prayer.

It might also mean reading the scriptures as Vinod read them for us at Swanwick – seeing in the text the cry of the people of South Asia, and grounding the truth of scripture in a new reality where the exegesis is painful but transformative.  Whatever the ethnic or cultural make-up of our congregations, there is always room for the inclusion of prayers or songs from across the world. These glimpses of diverse cultures praising one God bring unity and optimism to our movement, and change the way we look at mission.

It is my hope that this magazine will offer a few ideas about how to bring global mission alive,

but I must also encourage you to look for those ideas elsewhere: amongst your congregations and communities, and on the World Church section of the Methodist Church in Britain’s website (under ‘Mission’). There you can read the World Church Relationships blog, find out more about the partnerships around the world and download useful resources. You can also watch a video that captures a range of different World Church partnerships in Sri Lanka, and order copies of ‘Mission Matters’ – stories from across the global Connexion of Methodism.

Perhaps next year you might be part of the celebration of Asia Sunday, the week before Pentecost commemorating the founding of the Christian Conference of Asia on 14 May 1959. Look for resources on the World Church pages of the Methodist Church website.

Whatever it might be, I urge you to pray global, act local, and live faithfully as part of the international response to God’s call.



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