Mission statements are a way of summing up the essential purpose of an organisation or ministry. Local churches, conferences, clubs and businesses all have mission statements. They say what is important in as few words as possible and do so in a way that captures attention.
As we have been planning the future of GMP, we decided to look again at our mission statement, ‘Linking people, churches and resources across nations’. We felt that this statement is a bit long and unclear. We also concluded that the word ‘linking’ is not generally thought of in relationship terms.
The word that best describes the activities of GMP is ‘partnering’. This aspect of our work has been with us for many decades. Ron McLean is credited with introducing it, and all the Executive Directors since then have embedded it in the culture of GMP.
‘Partnering’ is a heart-beat word for GMP. We affirm the multidimensional and two-way nature of the word. We are engaged in mutual partnerships. We learn from each other, we grow together, and we engage in mission together. Our faith is stronger together.
Our partners are everyone on the GMP mission journey – overseas and in Australia. All partners are important.
We also reflected on the word ‘nations’. Most often this is a word thought of in terms of international realities. Different nations have unique cultures, locations and languages. They all express their understanding of God and the life of the church in ways that reflect who they are. This is also true for Australia’s First Peoples. There are more than 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island nations. Some say around 500 nations, and each with differing language, culture, lands and self-understanding.
So, nations is a good word for GMP and captures what we understand about our ministry. We joined these two words with an additional word that captures the concept of bridging something and so we have our new mission statement.
Global Mission Partners – Partnering Across Nations. It is simple, easy to remember and very clear.
You may have even noticed it appear in GMP’s logo, which has been refreshed and made a bit more contemporary. This new branding, featuring our new mission, will be rolled out across GMP’s communications over the coming months.
If we are not partnering and serving nations, we are not being GMP. If we are not partnering, we are also not being the body of Christ. Partnering reflects the unity that Jesus prayed for ‘that the world might believe’.
John Gilmore, Executive Officer