So what do we hope to see from the ministry of Global Mission Partners? It is an important question to answer and reflect on. One word comes to mind, and that word is change!
GMP seeks change, in and for people. We seek change, physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually, and for whole communities. This is the work we have been established to do, and quite frankly, without seeing signs of change we have no purpose or future in our work.
An important reality is that change can only come when we work together. We work together for change, with you our partners in Australia, and you our partners around the world. This ministry is an expression of who we all are. We are united by our faith in Jesus Christ and our strong sense of call to undertake this work and, additionally, we are united in one particular family of churches.
We are Churches of Christ at work seeking change. Everywhere we work we do what we do under this umbrella of identity. It is a privilege for us to have this opportunity, to express our care, compassion and love in action. We are not motivated by planting ‘flags of identity’. Rather our motivation is drawn from the patterns of Christ’s ministry.
When in Matthew 25:34-36 Jesus describes very real human need, he also describes a response: thirsty – a drink; naked – clothing; stranger – welcome; sick – care, and in prison – visited. Each action in response to a need is practical. Each asks something of the other in response to the need that is identified. Each cannot be outsourced to others and each is a moment where change happens. The contrast of the “sheep” and “goats” is seen in the cry of the “goats” – “If we had known it was you (Son of Man) we would have responded!” What separates the two groups is a combination of motivation and action. A motivation of compassion (“When did we see you?”) combined with practical, transforming action.
This month we launch our new GMP Great Gifts Catalogue. Take a moment to have a look at it. Pay attention to the gifts, and notice how practical they are. Each one is part of a bigger response to a particular need. Each response has at its heart compassion and grounded practicality. It is why we can be confident in our theme and invitation to “bring real change”. Such change can only happen as we take up the opportunities we have, and respond together. Your use of the catalogue is an important element in our common work of making change real.