Steve Smith and his congregation at Grace Church Worcester Park believe that standing together for the gospel is essential, not optional.
At one recent prayer meeting, a church member offered this prayer to the Lord on behalf of the mission partners our congregation supports:
‘Father God, we don’t have the same daily pressures that they have. Their lives as Christians, as they bear witness to the gospel, are unimaginable for us in London, but thank you that you are as sovereign in mission there as you are here. I ask that you would strengthen your people for the work of proclaiming the great news that Jesus Christ is Lord and equip them for everything they need in the task you have called them to. Amen’
“It is true that without the partnership we share with mission agencies like AIM, we would be going nowhere fast.”
Helping our church congregations to pray, learn and engage with the needs of unreached people groups is one thing; to be generous in recruiting, commissioning, and supporting congregational members on the foreign mission field is quite another. It is true that without the partnership we share with mission agencies like AIM, we would be going nowhere fast.
Our congregation, Grace Church, is a two-and-a-half-year-old church plant in London’s Worcester Park and part of the Co-mission network, which is passionate about planting churches for Christ in London and elsewhere. Our priority as churches is to initiate congregations and ministries with the idea of mission here in London, so we can reach the capital’s many cultures with God’s word of grace in the Lord Jesus.
At one recent church meeting, we first heard news from church mission partners evangelising non-Christians on the West Bank. We then watched a short video called ‘Walking in the Shadow’ that gave us a glimpse into the Muslim mindset in coastal Africa. Understanding the various Muslim people groups is invaluable to us as we seek to reach out to our international neighbours here in London.
As churches we are also always looking to express our union with our brothers and sisters around the world in practical partnerships that proclaim and defend the gospel for all nations. We benefit enormously from these partnerships, not just in seeing our own church members helped into short-term mission, but also in standing with the suffering Christian Church in prayer and financial support.
Preach the Word
The Preach the Word Training Course was the initiative of Loots Lambrechts and Determine Dusabumeremyi. The aim is to provide a practical two-year course, helping Christian leaders to correctly and faithfully handle God’s Word. This course will help students to communicate Biblical truth in a way that transforms lives.
One AIM partnership that we, at Grace Church, especially rejoice in is with former Co-mission staff member Loots Lambrechts and his family. Loots was sent out to Rwanda as a long-term missionary with the help of AIM and is now launching an exciting two-year theological training course for Rwandese Christians called ‘Preach the Word.” He’s partnering with Determine Dusabumeremyi, the former General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Rwanda.
It is this kind of partnership that helps the global Christian Church to imitate the early church. In the New Testament, local churches sent missionaries to regions that had not yet been reached with the news of the gospel. However, they also revisited familiar regions to encourage the existing churches in the gospel – not lording it over them in their faith, but seeking to refresh their soul and assist them in the ministry.
It is our prayer that God will use networks of churches like ours to prepare many more whom God might call to serve Christ in mission abroad. We believe this will require us to be intentional about whom we send, flexible according to the gospel need, and willing to share our financial resources and even our best leaders when the call comes. Without the help of AIM, we would be hamstrung in our best efforts and we praise God for the gospel partnership we share.
By Steve Smith, Senior Minister at Grace Church Worcester Park