Throughout the Bible we are reminded that we share a story with Christians all across the world and Jesus makes it clear that His story of rescue extends further than we might have imagined:
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…’ Matthew 28:19
God has a global plan for us to think beyond our own community as we consider our role as global disciplesand one of the ways to do this is through short term overseas mission.
The new year will bring with it the launch of many opportunities for overseas mission teams from congregations and presbyteries. In recent years, across the denomination, there have been an army of global disciples going from this island to the ends of the earth, to work alongside PCI Partners and Global Mission Workers, as well as other mission agencies. Whilst some teams are for young people, it is encouraging to see growing numbers of all age teams bringing generations together in using their gifts for mission, with a focus upon either either ‘seeing’ or ‘doing’…
‘Go and see’teams are to encourage a mission partner and learn more about their work so we can be better informed in helping our congregation be supportive through prayer, regular updates and giving. ‘Go and do’teams help deliver a practical project such as a children’s Bible camp, food hampers for the poor, building a school or educating in basic healthcare. Regardless of the task, those who go on short term overseas mission frequently return having deepened their relationship with God in a way they often describe as life changing.
Organising a team going overseas is a complex task for many reasons:
They carry greater risk as you navigate unknown barriers of geography and culture.
There are a huge number of logistics to consider and organise.
Team members can be geographically scattered (e.g. students in other parts of the UK/Ireland), making it difficult to meet as a team in preparation for the trip.
These challenges can seem overwhelming and prohibitive and yet as a denomination we want to support those leading and going on overseas mission teams.
Going Well is a new resource in PCI that seeks to equip teams that are going on short term overseas mission using four short training films, presented by Johnny Bell and Lorna Moore. The content covers the essential information to consider and is presented in a fast-paced style, with an appropriate measure of wit! There is one film for leaders and the other three seek to prepare teams with the important information to consider before, during and after their trip. Areas covered include ‘building team’, ‘discipleship’, ‘culture’ and ‘nuts and bolts’, and the resource is accompanied with questions to stimulate conversation and provoke learning amongst team members. The online nature of the resource allows the training to be accessed by individuals who are unable to make it to team meetings, giving greater flexibility.
We hope that Going Well will help equip Presbyterians in living out their role as global disciples in making a gospel footprint in another part of the world.
Going Well will be launched in January 2020
Neil Harrison is PCI's Mission Development Officer.