This time last year we were locked-down, locked-in, weaving our own little cocoons of safety. Cocooned in our little bubbles, we sheltered; uncertain, vulnerable and maybe a little scared. Rumours, reality, and heartache became the new normal as waves of COVID-19 ebbed and flowed around the globe.
The Irish Mission has also been cocooned for a year. ‘Doing church’ was defined by new contexts and technology. Over the year, a process of metamorphosis occurred, shaping our worship, deepening our relationships, and uniting us. As the Irish Mission now begins to emerge from the cocoon, our vision is once again before us: Establish. Empower. Engage.
So, let us revisit what the Vision for our Mission is:
Step one: ESTABLISH
That He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:13)
Mission begins with us. It begins with God in us. A vision is meant to draw lines of demarcation between that which is and that which we wish to achieve. The area in between is called faith in action and it encompasses our churches, families, communities, and as much of the world (as people) we wish to let in. But a vision is not (or it shouldn’t be) just a matter of the mind and programmes and strategies; it ought to be a matter of the heart.
The Irish Mission is busy, and it will continue to be. We are blessed with a committed pastoral team and many of our members are spiritually tuned in to what the Lord desires to accomplish through us; but we should take it step by step, and first focus on that which God wishes to fulfil in us. May the Lord establish our hearts as forgiven followers of a God who is Emmanuel in our midst. May we be established in Him with enduring and perseverant faith until His coming!
Step two: EMPOWER
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Once established in God’s love and grace, we can then move on to the next step and make ourselves available to the guiding and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. With confidence, trust, and resolve, we can push, in His Name, the boundaries of that which seems impossible. Life is dynamic; so, should ministry be, ever evolving, ever reaching, ever bold. There should be no fear or apprehension in seeking new methods to communicate and live out the old, old story of God and His love for humankind.
New methods must be introduced. God’s people must awake to the necessities of the time in which they are living. . . Some of the methods used in this work will be different from the methods used in the past; but let no one, because of this, block the way by criticism.” — Ellen G White
For us, Jerusalem is here; Judea is here; Samaria is here; the earth has come full circle and settled right here, on this Isle. May each Sabbath and every moment of family worship, personal prayer, bible study time be an opportunity for the Spirit to empower us to be witnesses of that which the Lord works within us.
Step three: ENGAGE
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. (Revelation 14:6)
When we are established in God, we are then in the best position to be empowered to engage the world we live in. We are a peculiar people with a peculiar message. However, we are not called to be unrelatable because of our peculiarity, neither to become exclusivist and elitist. The scope of our message is all encompassing, and it can be far-reaching if, as people, we reach deep inside us when reaching across to others. Self-sacrifice and humility make, an otherwise difficult message to receive, worthy of consideration and even attractive. Human voices and hands give angelic wings to an end-time message in three parts which completes and binds together all that is human.
I invite you all to rise out of this crisis with renewed vigour and strength. Seek new heights for Christ embracing God’s will for our Mission, one step at a time.
Pastor Dan Serb, Irish Mission President
A weekly series of articles will follow sharing the practical ways the Irish Mission's vision is currently being manifested.
- Establish: A Firm Foundation for our Youth
- Empower: Disciples, Missionaries and the Internet
- Engage: ACS — Servants Following in Christ's Footsteps
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