“If I’m honest, we never set out to be a sending church!” admits Richard Brewster, the pastor of Avenue Community Church in Leicester, which supports three families serving with SIM UK in East and West Africa.
“We’re not a big church and we often struggle to know how to reach out to our own local community, let alone the world,” he adds, “but we’re committed as a church to preaching our way through the Bible on Sunday mornings and to listening to, and living out, God’s Word in our midweek small groups.
“It’s our experience as a church that the Bible really does have the power to change us and open our eyes to God’s commitment to making disciples for Jesus of all nations.
“Over time, a number of families and individuals in our church family have felt the call to be part of God’s global mission and we’ve had the enormous privilege of talking with them, praying with them, and more recently, sending some of them out into the mission field.
“It’s hard saying goodbye to people you love and who are also some of your most faithful and committed gospel workers here at home, but we want to be open-handed with all the gifts God gives to us – including the people in our church.
“Sending people away to serve overseas is an act of love and an act of faith, and it’s not without cost, but we are reminded again and again, that every sacrifice we make for Jesus here and now will be worth it in the end.
“Being part of God’s global mission is a blessing to us as a local church as the whole church family gets involved in praying for, loving, and supporting, the people we send.
“It’s such a joy to see the people we send out depending completely on God for everything they need – and then seeing God at work to provide their needs!
“I also think we’ve gained a bigger, more global vision of God and his church in recent years; particularly the children in our church, who’ve seen families with children their own age, move overseas to serve.”
By Kerry Allan
Read the Harrisons’ story – one of the families sent by Avenue Community Church, reflect on their experience of leaving the UK to serve in Ethiopia.
- That more churches will partner with SIM UK to engage in world mission.