With the globalisation of our communities we face new challenges in mission. Its right for us to see that the opportunities for mission start in our neighbourhood's. Some suggest we once over emphasised overseas mission at the expense of local mission. With the speed of travel and communication today its possible for us to have a local ministry with a global mission. More people can be involved and more connections are needed to be effective. We need a new spirit of interdependence rather than individualism. It requires us to be willing to receive as well as give (realising everyone has something to offer). It requires humility, equality and mutual respect as well as giving honour to what we may perceive as weaker partners in ministry. We are to discover and learn together.

As part of the body of Christ we are called to engage the peoples and issues of the world with our hearts, talents and resources. In considering God's global mission lets consider the biblical foundation of John 3:16 as a guide.

For God: God initiates mission. He seeks Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In the person of Jesus, he came "to seek and to save" (Luke 19:10).

Loved: Love motivates mission. God's message is above all about love. His love desires to rescue and restore relationships and all things. The deities of other religions are to be feared or submitted to while the God of the Christian faith pursues us with constant love.

The world: God's love and desire is for all peoples and all creation. The local rabbi's of Jesus' day might have expected to hear "God loves the Jews", or "God loves the children of Abraham" when Jesus spoke in John 3. Instead, Jesus blows their ethnically defined boundaries of God's love away. The whole world, all peoples and nations and tribes and languages are loved by the God who wants everyone to experience that love.

That he gave: God's mission involves the sacrifice of his Son for our sins. If the good news of salvation and the Kingdom of God is to go to all peoples, we people of God will need to make personal, social and financial sacrifices.

His one and only Son: God's mission revolves around Jesus. Nothing and no one else can save or bring fullness of life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God but through him.

That everyone who believes in him: The mission of God requires a response. We understand God's love, receive his forgiveness and follow him.

Will not perish: God's mission is to restore brokenness that leads to judgement, condemnation and hell. The consequences of disbelief or rejection are spoken of freely by Jesus (John 3:17-18, 36). God's love is for restoration and healing because he knows the consequences of life without relationship with him.

But have eternal life: There is a 'for ever' significance for God's mission. His love, initiative and sacrifice call us into a relationship with him that begins now and lasts forever.

John 3:16 offers us a great foundation for our mission as the body of Christ. Lets be world Christians marked by sacrificial mission so that all peoples might experience the love and Kingdom of God.

Where to from here?

1. As you look over this foundation for mission ask yourself, "are these descriptions of God's mission seen in the way that I live?"

2. Is your view of mission involvement needing modification? Are you willing to adapt a more flexible view so that God can use you more effectively?

3. What gifts do you and your fellowship bring to help the global church fulfil what God has initiated?
4. How can you and your fellowship develop a spirit of interdependence with global partners?

Things of Interest

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This past month a site in New Zealand is causing a stir:

This is a new online file storage and backup site. They're offering 50GB for free, all encrypted at 2048 bit. Apparently, it's an easy-to-use interface, with an affordable pro version. Some have said it might be the "fastest growing startup in Internet history." Others have reportedly observed that it's currently the "busiest NZ URL" and that they already have several hundred thousand users after just days. (Thanks to that anonymous contributor.)

  • Need Ideas to Strengthen your Short-Term Missions Outreach?

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Here is a great collection of resources and services, some of which are free while others are available for a reasonable fee. Get help on everything from trip planning to screening and managing applicants.

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