Off the shelf: Transcending Mission

What constitutes mission within the life of the local church has gone through something of a renaissance over the last few years. Seeking to think about local and global spheres of ministry through the lens of mission has been helpful, but it has also brought some challenges. One example is this; just what do we mean when we talk about mission? This is the main thrust of what Stroope seeks to address in his provocative, yet well-reasoned assessment of the current situation in the discussion of mission. Continue reading

Partnership: OMF March 2019

“For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel…” (Ezekiel 3:5)

“What on earth are you choosing this section for to encourage us in praying for ministry among East Asia’s peoples Martin?” Good question. Well before we go any further it is important for us to pause and take this section to heart. It is the people of God, the ones who know the language and who should understand the purposes and character of God who can often be the most difficult group to see transformation and change among. Continue reading

Reset: OMF February 2019

“Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell of my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking”. (Ezekiel 1:28)

Everything had changed. Picture it. As Ezekiel stood looking out across his new home around the Chebar canal, he knew the world was never going to be the same again. It had been a long 5 years on the other side of the world. Reaching his 30’s made him stop to think about what could have been. Trained as a priest, ready to fulfil his calling; but that had all disappeared. Continue reading

OMF October 2018: Doors

“I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door which no one is able to shut” (Revelation 3:8)

Picture the scene with me. Something amazing has just happened. You have heard good news about a coming kingdom, a king who has defeated death, who transforms everything about life and who owns eternity. But where you live very few people know this message. In fact, it is viewed with great suspicion  by neighbours and as seditious by those in power. Continue reading

Off The Shelf: Missions: How The Local Church Goes Global

Missions: How the local church goes global

Sometimes, it can be argued, that global mission is so distant that it doesn’t seem very important to the life of the local church. I can totally understand where people are coming from. How does this stuff connect with where we are? Why should we even bother about cross-cultural ministry, and on the other side of the world? Are there better ways for us to partner with our missionaries? If this is you then Andy Johnson’s book Missions is a helpful hands on guide. Continue reading

OMF August 2018: Learning From Thyatira

“All the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works” Rev 2:23b

What is at the heart of this message Jesus has for his people? As we read it we can see that he calls into question those who claim to be his followers but who are involved in sexual immorality and free flowing sacrifices to idols. And this is correct, that is what Jesus identifies. However what is going on under the surface? Continue reading

OMF July 2018: Kill the cancer

I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name… (Rev 2:13a)

It doesn’t matter where you find yourself in the world, misrepresentation and false teaching of the good news of Jesus will exist. As I write this we have just finished spending time in Vietnam meeting up with colleagues and local church leaders. A recurring theme in our discussions was the rise of pseudo Christian cults and the speed at which they spread in the country.  Continue reading

The normal way of life: OMF Christmas 2017

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” 

(Isaiah 40:8)

Transiency is the normal way of life, yet nearly everything else around us and within us tries to pretend that this is not true. We want there to be something which lasts, something that in the end will not be tainted, tarnished or tired. And that is what we see at the beginning of this wonderful section of Isaiah; there is something which lasts. Continue reading

A Greater Motive: August 2017

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3) 

Last month we looked at reminding ourselves of our purpose in an ever changing world, focusing on making much of Jesus and pointing others to him. I’m sure that neither of these things we would disagree with. That being said, sometimes the way these truths are communicated can cause hindrance to those who are watching the believer’s life or listening to the believer’s words. Clearly this is something which Paul understood. Continue reading