Redefining the mission field – Alastair Mciver visits financial missionaries
I have just returned from the mission field. God is stirring his people in Northern Ireland. On this part of His global world, He is raising up workers, mobilising His church, calling the young (yes, you heard that right) and giving generous (and wealthy) people joyful hearts.
The latter is what I was about on my mission trip, the funding of mission. The other discoveries were a bonus. My visit to Ireland was primarily about our supporters, but I was able to hear first-hand about the wider, bigger, deeper picture of mission that is going on around them. It would be fair to say that God is stirring people up in Ireland once again. Hallelujah.
One thing I learnt on this trip is that God doesn’t discriminate in fulfilling His mission, whether it be over here, over there or overseas.
God, as we know all too well from the Bible, doesn’t choose the obvious for the likely, but He does choose the unlikely for the impossible (humanly speaking). He mixes the poor with the rich, the secular with the sacred, the local with the global, and the bold with the meek. This is why the church is global. We’re all in the mix together, wherever we live. And the challenge is ahead.
I recently heard a speaker at our church say these words: ‘if you want to dwell in the realm of the miraculous you have to learn how to live in the land of the impossible.’
Do we believe that as missionaries, whether we are reading this in Berkhamsted (from where I write), Belfast or Bangladesh?
My time in Ireland meeting Interserve supporters brought me into contact with a wider ranging group of mission people; individual supporters in their mature years, Trust heads, business people, even OMF people who support Interserve, and they all had one thing in common. They, we, are all pushing hard in the same direction.
I heard ordinary stories of the miraculous, driven by passion and facilitated by money. And, by His grace, I also managed to raise a lot of money from passionate missionaries for the Kingdom, brought about by the mysterious dot-joining exercise that God seems to specialise in.
You see, for me (who has no mission baggage to speak of), mission is driven by many motivating factors, not least His Holy Spirit (the primary donor), who is as active and at work in missionary supporters in Coleraine as He is in medical workers in Kathmandu.
Money is important, yes, and God has a lot of it. We need to grasp that.
And He gives it to the less active, the elderly and the wealthy so that they can give it to the called, the mobilised and the driven. That said, none of these traits are exclusive from each other.
The common denominator in mission is not about how much money we have, or where we serve, but who we are in Christ. He motivates our calling, then He joins those dots to make it all happen. Ireland…meet Islamabad, and vice versa.
I don’t know about you but I sense that we are currently dwelling in the realm of the miraculous. I find it very exciting, and because of that, we can surely start to expect the impossible to happen.
‘Money and Mission’ was originally published on the Interserve blog during Alastair’s time as Head of Fundraising for the charity. For other previous blogs on fundraising, visit the site here.