An Introduction to the “Support” Ministry at Dundonald Church (Part 1/2)
Support is one of our seven W.I.T.N.E.S.S. ministries, but what does it mean? And why is it important? The first of two articles gives a quick overview of the ministry:
“Support our Cause” means we partner with God’s people globally so that gospel ministries to all nations are promoted, resourced & multiplied as we work to expand God’s global kingdom.
- Promoted: So that the whole church family can understand, support and feel connected to our mission partners and their work
- Resourced: So that we train people in cross-cultural mission, prepare and send them to serve in the UK and overseas, and
- Multiplied: So that we increase our contribution to the work of taking God’s gospel to all nations
When Paul writes to the church at Philippi he is full of joy and thanksgiving to God. Paul established this church on his second missionary journey, so it was his first European church plant. Philippians 1:5 says the reason for his joy was “because of your partnership in the gospel”.
This small new church plant was already praying, giving, sending and supporting mission work to the rest of the known world. Of course there was also mission work to be done in and around Philippi, but their joy and thankfulness in the gospel overflowed into a desire to see the good news shared as widely as possible. We want to follow their example here at Dundonald Church.
So we try to build meaningful relationships with all our mission partners. Hearing from them in person at central prayer meetings whenever possible, and sharing news when they are not around. Praying for one of them at each one of our Sunday gatherings – look out for the photo of “Today’s Mission Partner” just before the congregational prayers start. And hosting as many as we can at the annual Revive church weekend. In addition, many of our midweek study groups build links with a particular mission partner, making the connection more personal and the prayer support more frequent.
We have a small selection of great mission partners doing exciting gospel ministry in the UK and overseas. We allocate around 10% of church income to support them and their work, and over the years have found the following principles to be helpful in focusing our efforts:
- We give precedence to projects which specifically advance the gospel, prioritising the proclamation of the gospel, teaching, training and translation of the Bible.
- We support people we know and trust as sound in the faith and appropriately gifted for their ministry, who are recognised as such by an organisation we respect, with whom we think the church can develop and maintain a meaningful long term relationship.
- We want to see good projects sustained in the longer-term and not fail through lack of support, so most of our resources will be directed towards longer-term ongoing commitments rather than one-off or short-term projects.
- We hope to encourage more meaningful relationships by pursuing greater involvement with fewer projects, focusing our resources rather than spreading them too thinly.
Through occasional Mission Breakfasts we also try to share more news, provide a forum to ask questions of experts, as well as share experiences of short term mission. And by running courses like Friendship First we aim to equip church members to engage in cross-cultural mission here in London.
We are constantly seeking to increase our contribution to gospel mission to all nations, supporting and sending more workers overseas, but also starting new initiatives locally. Wimbledon International Cafe, English Conversation & Coffee, and the International Ladies Bible Study are all examples of church members actively engaging in taking the gospel of Jesus to all nations.