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What does mission mean today? – Strategic Review

Whilst our vision is remaining the same, we recognise our world is changing around us and we need to be part of a developing conversation about what mission means today.

We have therefore set ourselves the task of answering this question:

Given our limited resources, how should SIM UK pursue our vision within a range of possible ministry strategies to enable a greater diversity of evangelical churches to recruit, equip, send and receive the next generation of gospel workers in shared purpose and mission?

Mission is now both to and from the UK – we have communities where Christ is least known on our doorstep. The UK church is multi-ethnic and multi-skilled. How can we best stand alongside our churches?

We are using this opportunity to consider how we raise awareness of unreached communities; helping churches disciple people into mission; development of further training pathways; connecting churches, workers and opportunities for cross-cultural ministry around the world and how we are joining with partners to do this.

We are also monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability for mission workers to move across international borders, continue ministries and maintain resilience and faith in the Lord Jesus.

We work hand in hand with evangelical churches to send and receive equipped gospel workers into communities where Christ is least known 

So where are we now?

Over the last few months, we have been conducting focus groups, surveys, and interviews to hear from our churches, mission workers, staff, and supporters. Through these discussions, we’re delighted to share the emerging outcomes with you. 

One of the resounding pieces of feedback was that one of our greatest assets is providing financial services and prayer materials. This was closely followed by providing placements, preparing mission workers, and personal support. We are delighted to hear that people value SIM UK’s emphasis on partnerships, both with churches and other mission agencies. Additionally, we recognised the need to improve the support we provide mission workers upon re-entry and in their cultural transition.

In listening to this feedback, some clear themes have emerged to shape our planning going forward.  One such theme was SIM UK’s engagement with churches, as many church leaders expressed a desire for a clearer pathway for those interested in pursuing mission. It was helpful and encouraging to hear that our Mobilisation team were the most influential factor for many of those who choose to serve with SIM UK.

SIM’s vision for the future is to enable a greater diversity of sending churches, as well as to send and receive the next generation of gospel workers. Thinking about the “next generation,” we identified this category as not only young people but early retirees and those of different vocations. We looked at what might become barriers to the next generation and found a reoccurring theme that our current funding model may be an obstacle to those without wealthy Christian family/networks. In addition to this, for many young people the pressures of careers and the “fear of missing out” can also become a barrier. Currently we are working to collate and discuss our findings, which will be taken to the leadership teams to decide what is the best way to move forward. We continue to strive towards our vision of enabling a greater diversity of churches to recruit, equip, send and receive the next generation.

We are grateful to all who have taken part to assist us in using our resources to the best of our ability, in order to share the gospel where Christ is least known.