Learning to drive involves mastering many skills. Some are visual – paying attention to the road, traffic, signs, signals, and people. Other skills are relatively physical – mastering steering, braking, the clutch, changing gears and reversing. Some are a bit more instinctive, anticipating the speed of traffic, positioning the car on the road, keeping a safe distance and so it goes on. When it comes together, we are driving. Some parts can be mastered separately, however the ‘art’ is it working together.
Paul writes of the body of Christ in Ephesians 4:15-16, ‘But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love’.
This is such a complete image of the Body of Christ – the body growing up, each part connected and working, and building itself up in love.
The truth of these words is seen so clearly in that no one person, local church or mission enterprise is complete on its own. We need each other and rely on each of us playing our part. And as we do our part the whole-body changes and grows.
It is true of the work of GMP at so many levels. We cannot engage in mission without our local partners, their vision, hope and sense of God leading them to what they are meant to do.
GMP also needs local churches and people in Australia who pray and give so that the mission priorities of our partners can be realised.
In this GMP also plays its part in creating mission partnerships.
This three-way mission relational paradigm is at the core of what we do, and without local partners and without supporting churches and individuals, GMP cannot undertake mission.
We look to the future with hope and expectation, never pretending that there will not be challenges and difficulties. Our hope and expectation is that, as we all play our part, the result will be more than we can ever imagine or anticipate.
This is what it means to partner – each taking responsibility for the part we play, not taking each other for granted – and so having an impact.