Faith

Losing ourselves in God’s great missional story

Ng Zhiwen // April 11, 2018, 8:00 pm

Bishop Chong

Methodist Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung (left), Chairman of the GoForth 2018 Organising Committee, and Dr Stanley Ling (right), Regional Director, SIM East Asia, urging churches to support the conference. Photo by Elliot Ng.

“Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:31-32

Our God is a God on a mission! Our God seeks to rescue, redeem and restore all of His creation, through the death and resurrection of His beloved son, our Lord Jesus.

We are God’s Church. And His Spirit is already on the move to complete His mission in and through us!

In Ed Stetzer’s words, our God is a missional God. And the Church is God’s principal vehicle for advancing His mission in the world.

He came to draw us to Himself, and then to send us out for His work (Mark 3:14).

All of us then have a calling from God to discover and to “lose ourselves” in His great, big missional story – wherever He sends us.

The only question is: “To where and to whom?”

Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ Matthew 9:37-38. Photo by Joash Lee.

For some of us, that will mean getting sent out of Singapore and into the cities of Asia and beyond. That shouldn’t be a surprise. We have the most powerful passport in the world. We’ve been blessed with substantial resources. Some have observed that we are like an Antioch in Asia.

The bottom-line remains: We are God’s Church. And His Spirit is already on the move to complete His mission in and through us!

GoForth: A millennium vision

The first GoForth was organised in 2002, after a few church leaders caught the vision of organising a national missions conference to catalyse a national missions movement for every generation of the Church.

Held every three to four years, GoForth serves as a platform to unite Singapore churches to seek the Lord together, learn together and to collaborate for our Father’s global mission.

We cannot tell exactly how God works through each conference, but we can expect Him to do something.

I remember two conferences that had a deep impact on my life. During the triennial Urbana 2003 Student Missions Conference, I told the Lord that I would be prepared to go wherever He would send me, if ever that time came. No such “call” was given, but I reckon what mattered was that God was nurturing in me the willingness to go.

The other conference was the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in 2016. That was where the Lord spoke clearly to me that I was to be a “connector” for the Kingdom, to work for the unity of the Church. I was also very blessed to make new friends there, one of whom I look up to now as a spiritual mentor.

Get awakened

On the back end, there has been much prayerful planning on the part of the GoForth team to design and execute the GoForth 2018 Conference programme.

Please pray for, support and trust the team to do the job well, as the Lord disciples and empowers us all.

We want GoForth 2018 to be a blessing to the churches and the individuals who attend, and for it to effectively serve the churches for missions equipping and mobilising.

The like-minded community you meet at GoForth may well become incubators for future kingdom initiatives. Photo by Elliot Ng.

Register for GoForth 2018 as an individual, leader or ministry group, and prepare to encounter God in these ways:

  • Get awakened to His great mission and discover how He has already been at work in and out of Singapore.
  • Receive greater clarity on your specific calling from the Lord.
  • Make new connections – God arranges divine appointments and the people you meet may become your friend, your ministry co-labourer, your leader, or even your mentor.
  • Gather with a like-minded community that shares the same passions and vocation as you. Such communities often become the incubators for future kingdom initiatives!

The possibilities are endless. But the first step, of course, is to decide to be present.

Love your children

Take time to prayerfully browse through the many workshops, special lunchtime interest sessions (Circles of Passion) and children’s programme. Find out more about our line-up of distinguished international and local speakers.

“The best way for you to love (your children) is to release them to do what God has put on their heart.”

With two language tracks – English and Chinese – conference delegates will have a total of more than 70 workshops to select from, covering pertinent topics that reflect the fast-evolving urban lifestyle, community and environmental needs, and trends in Asia and beyond.

For parents – would you consider GoForth as an opportunity for your child to get further engaged in God’s mission? If your child is seven to 12 years old, sign them up for the children’s programme.

I love what a pastor shared at a recent GoForth mobilisation event. He was addressing dads and mums when he said: “The best way for you to love (your children) is to release them to do what God has put on their heart.”

“The best way for you to love your children is to release them to do what God has put on their heart.” Photo by Elliot Ng.

Partner church leaders 

If you’re a church leader, consider the wide variety of ways you can benefit from GoForth:

  • Perspective Be ready for your perspective of missions to be challenged and sharpened.
  • Policy Time to review the missions policy in your church? Find out more about strategies for urban evangelism and church planting, and for bringing gospel witness through transformation in society.
  • Plan GoForth can ignite and accelerate missions-related conversations in your church. Can the “Go Urban” theme dovetail with the missions emphasis in your chuch, for instance? I know of a church which, on learning about GoForth’s “Go Urban” theme, chose My City | Beyond My City to be its missions theme for the year.
  • Partner Meet with church and para-church organisation representatives to partner you in missions.
  • People Bring your people! Give someone a friendly nudge today by telling him or her: “I think you should go to GoForth.” Help get the word out – if we can supply you with free publicity materials to share with your congregation, do let us know. 
  • Pray Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’ Matthew 9:37-38. Pray with us for GoForth.

May GoForth be the occasion for God’s people here in Singapore to earnestly get down on our knees and get fully engaged – mind, body, strength and soul – for the harvest field.

It was for this that He died.

GoForth 2018 in a nutshell

What? A Missions Conference for a National Missions Movement.

When? June 21–23, 2018.

Where? ACS Barker Road campus.

Which? There are different tracks to pursue: English, Mandarin and children’s.

How? For more information, contact admin@goforth.org.sg or your church’s pastor or missions staff. Conference details and registration can be found at www.goforth.org.sg

Who? How about you?

 

This article was reprinted with permission from Methodist MessageVol 120, No 4, April 2018 
About the author

Ng Zhiwen

Zhiwen worships at Zion Bishan BP Church, and has been seconded to Singapore Centre for Global Mission (SCGM), where he serves in the area of missions research and missions mobilisation. He is the Mobilisation IC for the GoForth National Missions Conference, and co-founder of TeamZero, a group of young adults passionate about the church's mission in the public square. His passion is to see a church united for God's mission.