One of the great benefits of social media is being able to see the highlights of friends and family living overseas. We have a relationship and a heartfelt connection that means we rejoice when they celebrate and we feel sadness when they are hurting - even though our stories are separated by thousands of miles.
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 is not only for the past but for the present and future, extending 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 postcode as we consider our role as global disciples and yet in the busyness of congregational life and the immediate needs on our doorstep, it can be hard to prioritise our involvement in God’s work across the world.
Go Deep, Go Wide is a dual focus for increasing involvement in global mission within every congregation in PCI. Going deep is about planting something with roots to grow. Experience shows that congregation’s best develop an active, involvement in global mission, by having at least one deep relationship with a particular person, place or project. This fosters a sense of familiarity and ownership within a congregation that will lead to livelier prayer, greater giving and ongoing support for global mission.
Going deep encourages every congregation in PCI to take a step back, identify a deep relationship, and plant and grow it in a way appropriate to your situation. But God’s mission has many aspects to it across the world that we might miss if we only focus on a few deep relationships. Which moves us from Going Deep to Going Wide as we stretch our horizons to enable involvement in the breadth of God’s global mission.
There is an easy way into that in PCI. Every week we produce the ‘Let’s Pray’ resource that often highlights our involvement in global mission and throughout the year there are a range of denominational opportunities for congregations to be involved in the breadth of what it means to be global disciples who:
CARE for God’s world through the World Development Appeal.
SHARE in God’s mission through the global mission element of the United Appeal, the Youth and Children’s Project and the PW Overseas Project.
RESPOND with God’s love through the Moderator’s Appeal in situations of special need.
GO in God’s name through denominational overseas mission teams.
With a little bit of planning and publicity every congregation can experience something of the breadth of what it means to be involved in all that God is doing in the world.
So as you think about what it means to be global disciples in your congregation, prayerfully reflect on where God is calling you to go DEEP, and use some of the resources produced to help you grow the roots of a particular relationship. Alongside this, look out for the many opportunities for global mission involvement throughout the year that allow you to go WIDE in participating in God’s amazingly varied work of mission across the world.
Video clips and resources supporting ‘Go Deep, Go Wide’ are available here.
Neil Harrison is PCI's Mission Development Officer.