Christmas Message from CMS Ireland’s Mission Director

Posted by Sarah Caughey on Fri, 24 Dec 2010 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

As I think back over the past number of months I can really see how the Lord has been leading and guiding me and my family to move into this new role within CMS Ireland. With this confidence of His leading in the past then I know He will be standing alongside me as we go together into the future. I am also aware that if I had not spent about 20 years working in Kenya I would not be able to do this job. If I know anything about partnership then I learned it from people in Kajiado and with other Global Partners. If I know anything about the Church in Ireland then I learned it from all those who live out their faith on a daily basis within their parish communities. If it were not for you, then I could not be here!

So, what can you expect from CMS Ireland as we move forward? The following are only a few highlights of how I would like to see the Society.

Confidence

The CMS Ireland journey has moved and changed many times over many years. Those who engage with the Society now must have confidence that we can deliver what we say we will. I believe that we do have a clear vision of where we want to be and of course our starting point is the Bible.

The structure of the Society must reflect it’s aims and objectives and all who are involved with us need to know that the current staff levels we have will be able to deliver what we set out to achieve. I believe that the staff team we currently have will do this.

I want a Society that will do what it says it will. I also want a Society that will be honest enough to say that it can’t do everything – and not try to.

In order for you, as Global Partners, Mission Partners and those in Parishes and all who support CMSI, to have confidence in what we do we need to be accountable for all our activities – not just with our finance – but with all resources entrusted to us by you.

CMSI works in a ‘partnership’ relationship with all Churches and Global Partners and is built on mutual respect as equals in the eyes of God.

Ownership

Mission activities that are being carried out in a Parish setting must be owned by that Parish. CMS Ireland as a Mission Agency plays a facilitating role, but the main driving force must be the people of the Parish. Mission activities should be part of every organization within the church and not just for the interested few.

Ownership is not something that comes automatically but must be worked at. Ownership will ensure long-term sustainability of a mission relationship and make a real difference to both the parish and the Global Partner.

Natural expression of Outreach

We are all part of one world and each has a responsibility to the other. In Genesis, Cain cries out to the Lord ‘Am I my Brother’s keeper?’ The Biblical response to that question is an emphatic ‘Yes!’ Mission in the Global context provides us with the opportunity to give expression to that responsibility as we work alongside our Global Partners.

As we share our strengths with each other and provide each other with support for our weaknesses then true ‘partnership’ takes place. The result is that the Church will grow and lives will be touched. Mission is therefore a natural expression of outreach.

Networking for Growth

For many churches across the developing world it is easy to feel isolated from the fellowship of the wider Church. There can be a feeling of ‘missing out’ or even being neglected and this only underlines the isolation. Partnership through CMS Ireland can open up opportunities for friendship across the world in different cultures and bring people together.

Churches in the developing world are also reading those great ‘mission’ passages in the Bible for example – ‘..go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’ Partnership with CMS Ireland allows people in all parts of the world to live out their mission calling in practical support with each other. What strengths do we have here in Ireland that can support the church in other parts of the world and what strengths do our Global Partners have that can support the Church here in Ireland? If we can get this going then we would indeed have true partnership.

Exchange

Everything we do involves people. I would like to see this part of our work increase to include more direct participation in the work and ministry of the church worldwide. Connecting people from pew to pew, visiting our Global Partners across the world and have people from our Global Partners come to visit us here in Ireland. Recognizing that we have as much to learn as we have to give will form the basis of how exchange programmes run into the future.

Communication

Communication is one of the most important elements in all that we do. I believe that if Churches know what is going on in their linked area and are committed to it, they will support and be happy to put their resources into it. If people can see and appreciate the difference their support is making then they will have confidence to give it.

Transparency is key to good communications and CMS Ireland will make a commitment to being transparent in all that it does.

Transformation

As Christians we believe that transformation is possible, that people’s lives will be changed. You and I as individuals can make an impact on other people’s lives, our faith will be challenged and deepened, and as a result of being involved with mission we will have a greater desire to share our faith with others. Transformation is a real possibility and the Church will grow.

Summary

By summarizing all of the above headings Partnership can with…

*C*onfidence
*O*wnership
*N*atural expression of outreach
*N*etworking for growth
*E*xchange
*C*ommunication
*T*ransformation

…*CONNECT* you into mission.

It is my hope and prayer that the CMS Ireland we see into the future will be one based on Biblical principles that shows love and concern for the Church worldwide. It will also impact on you as an individual and make your faith journey a joy and a blessing. CMS Ireland remains open to other opportunities for mission in different parts of the world – but keeping special emphasis on support to the church working on the margins of society.

We stand alongside our brothers and sisters around the world to share in God’s Kingdom – may His Kingdom come!

Wishing each of you every blessing this Christmas and a peaceful New Year from all of the Staff of CMS Ireland.

Ronnie Briggs
CMS Ireland Mission Director

Speech first delivered at the Commissioning of Mr Ronnie Briggs to his role as CMS Ireland Mission Director on 7th December 2010 in St Paul’s Parish, Lisburn.

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