BMS World Mission - Sunday morning session
New resources, encouragements from Ben Francis and his inspiring daughter Abigail, plus an update on its One Million Lives Transformed strategy all featured in the BMS World Mission Sunday morning session at the 2019 Baptist Assembly
A new resource that seeks to help churches become deliberate in their mission engagement was introduced during the session.
There are needs and good causes almost everywhere we look, and we can’t support everything. The new resource Mission ACTS aims to equip churches to grapple with the question, ‘What is the Lord asking us to do in world mission?’
Mission ACTS will equip churches to evaluate how your church currently engages in world mission, analyse their effectiveness and by the end of the process, develop their own mission strategy that is Agreed, Clear, Targeted and Strategic (ACTS).
Update on five year strategy
The progress BMS is making in its 2016-2020 mission strategy ‘One Million Lives Transformed’ was shared during the BMS session on Sunday morning.
The strategy captures a series of targets for each of BMS’s seven ministries, namely church, education, justice, development, health, leadership and relief. It was launched at the 2016 Baptist Assembly. The year three progress was shared on Saturday.
The updates were introduced by partnership administrator Jo Cordell, who explained that progress was not always linear, and invited delegates ‘to rejoice and be thankful for successes.’
In the areas of health and leadership BMS had already exceeded its targets (206 per cent and 125 per cent respectively). Education and development were on track to meet the target at 62 and 88 per cent respectively. Justice and relief were just behind target (45 per cent and 49 per cent) and rated amber on the traffic light system BMS is using.
The one area BMS marked with red was church, its plan is to share the gospel with 500,000 people and plant 500 Christian communities by 2020. The figure stood at 34 per cent. ‘In year three alone we reached another 50,000 people with our church ministries, meaning 170,000 people now know of the love of Jesus Christ,’ said Jo. ‘However, we are off track, and would love you to pray for our church ministries.’
New featured video and campaign - South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors
South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors, BMS’ new featured video and campaign was launched at this year’s Assembly, and the video was aired during the Sunday morning session. It relates to refugees from South Sudan living in Uganda.
‘We have been blown away by the testimonies from the refugee camps in northern Uganda,’ said Ben Drabble, ‘survivors who have become beacons of light.
‘What is happening is due to your support. So much has been done – so much more can be done – please show this video in your churches and let’s see what we can do.’
BMS World Mission’s South Sudan refugee partner is Hope Health Action.
Address from Ben Francis
Ben Francis, BMS Team Leader in India, spoke of the importance of vision and trusting in God in a short address.
‘Vision gives us the ability to see beyond our eyes’ he told delegates. It is something that’s caught, not taught. We need to catch it because God wants to speak to us about where we’re going, not where we are. If you want to see what you’ve never seen, you’ve got to do what you’ve never done, Ben said.
He spoke of his own ministry in India, which has seen thousands come to faith in Christ, and villages transformed with the Gospel. He had initially run away from God.
We can be confident in God, for God ‘qualifies the caught’, Ben continued. ‘The vision that God calls you lies within us. We need to trust him.’
‘I pray that when we go there is a compelling vision for our neighbourhood, and for our region.’
Farewell to Peter Dunn
General Director Kang-San Tan prayed for Peter Dunn, who is leaving BMS this summer after serving as Director of Mission for 10 years.
Peter will become director of Big Life Europe, and is moving to Yorkshire.
‘Jesus has something to say about Instagram’ – Abigail Francis
Abigail Francis, daughter of Ben, was Assembly’s youngest speaker, aged 15. She concluded the BMS session, explaining that youth of today believe the Bible is 'just for old people'. This is wrong, for Jesus has something to say about aspects of modern life as Instagram and credit cards.
She said she believes 'life is like a car, and the Bible is the manual'. The product (the Bible) is the same ‘but we have to repackage it.’