Hard truth #4. All of our churches must be ‘missional’ churches, led by and populated with missionaries.
Lance Tremlett was a missionary in the North of Australia for 46 years.
About two months into my Connect09 role – time enough for my head to be spinning – I had the great privilege of hearing Lance speak at his final CMS Summer School as he “retired” from a lifetime of missionary service.
He reflected on how he had had to start from scratch. In the early years his time was mostly spent building wells, helping get power and basic services in place. Loving the community.
Over time, the elders came to accept and then respect him because he was a man of integrity who clearly cared for the people. It was then that he was able to share his God and his Saviour in a context of genuine fellowship.
In one sense, there is nothing terribly surprising in this. It is what we expect “mission” to be like. It is something that we have a great wealth of expertise and experience in thanks to agencies like CMS, the mission department at Moore College and so on. All of our ministers study mission, as have many of our church members. We know about mission.
And yet, Lance’s experiences are surprising aren’t they? We say we do mission locally, but it doesn’t look much like that does it?
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