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Being a Missonal Church

posted 05.10.2014

Rev Yee Ching Wah is an Honorary Priest at St James' Church.  He is also the Associate Director of Missions of the Diocese of Singapore and the Dean of Thailand.  He and his family served as missionaries to Thailand from 1997 for 14 years in Nakorn Ratchasima and Bangkok. He is married to Siew Ling, and their three sons are Ivan, Joshua and Ryan.

John Stott, one of the most influential Bible teachers and mentor to many Christian leaders, said: “Evangelisation requires the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world”. By implication, it is not part of the church, taking part of the gospel to only some people of the world.  A missional church involves everyone, embraces the whole gospel and takes the Great Commission of Jesus seriously.

Jesus’ last word to His first church was:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”   Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus also promised that His coming again is conditioned upon this gospel being preached to the whole world.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  Matthew 24:14
This is because God’s will is that none should perish but all shall come to eternal life.

Any local church that seeks to follow after God’s own heart cannot help but be missional.  A missional church goes beyond giving to missions, or organising short term mission trips, or even sending out missionaries.  Being a missional church is all the above plus the mission to establish a group of local witnesses of the gospel where Jesus was not known before.  This means planting a church locally or cross culturally; which is much more than just leading individuals to Christ. 

The Great Commission goes beyond evangelism and good works. It is about making disciples and baptizing them into the body of Christ. We learn this also from Paul’s life and ministry. Having preached the gospel in a city, he continued to teach them, formed the believers into churches and appointed local leaders over them before he moved on to another city.

St James’ Church has for many years given to missions and sent out short term mission teams.  In recent years, we have sent out missionaries like Rev Andrew and Diana Yap.  Missionaries are like commandoes who establish a bridgehead for others to advance. The challenge for St James’ Church now is to prepare and send volunteers, resources and more missionaries to land on the bridgehead at Lat Krabang, so that our mission commandoes would not be stranded, but the ministry they started, would lead to the formation of a body of local witnesses of Jesus called the local church.

Nature teaches us that healthy living organisms would reproduce themselves. Organisms that fail to reproduce themselves face the potential of extinction; just as a sterile church or Christian would become extinct spiritually.  We desire to be a missional church not because we fear extinction, but because we are a healthy body that desires to be fruitful and multiply.  We shall pray and labour together so that the fledgling ministry of Cornerstone Student Centre and Lat Krabang Anglican Church shall grow to become the Cathedral of Thailand.