SINGAPORE, 20 NOVEMBER 2008 — EFFECTIVE MISSIONS HAPPEN when the whole church brings the whole gospel to the whole world. That was the core message the audience took away from the elective “Effective Missions & Church Planting.”
|PHOTOS: Kenneth Tan|
The whole church — It is the responsibility for members in the church to go forth for missions.
The whole gospel — Besides sharing the message of salvation, missions also include reaching out to the community and the needy, bring practical help where needed.
The whole world — Not just in terms of geography, the world consists of every social order in the society.
George Ong started the session by sharing his personal experience of how he founded Church of Singapore (Harvest) in Singapore (1986), Skudai Harvest Church (1988) and Muar Harvest Church (2005) in Malaysia, and Batam Harvest Church in Indonesia (2008). He reminded the audience that church planters have to stay sensitive to know the direction of God, when and where He is moving in the mission field.
Dean of the School of Theology (SOT) Bobby Chaw then shared on the three main types of mission work City Harvest Church (CHC) carries out across Asia. The church first sends out members on short ministry trips and humanitarian trips to serve the local churches and community. Very often on these trips, these members will find their attitudes being challenged and they would experience spiritual revival in their lives. Many have testified of regaining the joy of salvation back into their lives. The church also partners with local churches and sends its ministry leaders to these churches to train up the members in various aspects of running church services and events. Finally, the church transforms aspiring church planters through SOT where students from various countries come to be intensively trained before returning to their respective nations and churches.
Ultimately, both Ong and Chaw agreed, it is not the formula but the people who make the difference. Effective missions and church-planting take place when people are willing to be adequately trained and go forth into the nations.