Yorkshire reps among the history makers

A report from Adrian Ward and Norma Hobbs for friends in YBA churches.

A WARM welcome and introduction from Maureen Russell, Chair of BMS Trustees, began the historic first meeting of the newly incorporated Council of BMS World Mission on March 13th, 2018.

Kang SangThe recently-appointed General Director of BMS, Kang-San Tan (right) welcomed council members and introduced visitors from the Brazilian World Mission Board (JMM) and also from Serampore College in India. BMS has had input into both of these countries in the past, and now these countries were not only leading academic centres, but also mission sending bodies, reaching out into the world with the Gospel message.

Kang-San spoke about the developing role of Council and went on to speak of the changing role of global mission, and the challenge facing BMS in the light of such changes.

He spoke of our lack of success in reaching those of other faiths (2% only); of the reduced numbers of Christians in the West (from 25% to a forecast of 10% and falling); of a move in influence from the northern hemisphere to the southern, where numbers of Christians are rising – in Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, despite the rise in numbers of Christians in the southern hemisphere, Christian global resources were unevenly distributed, only 32% being in the southern hemisphere.

Kang-San expressed a dream of international partnership and collaboration in the Gospel. He spoke of the influence and importance of disciple-making movements, and the need to learn from other cultures and look at different forms of leadership. He spoke of BMS being a catalyst, nurturing community and encouraging hospitality, especially towards those of other faiths. As Christian influence wanes in the west, we become more like the struggling world church and need to pray for the power of Jesus in all we do.

A number of other important issues were mentioned: the importance of safeguarding in the present climate emphasised; Ministers’ Conferences and the importance of the presence of BMS explained; finance was reported on – a decline in church giving, but several generous legacies received, so BMS has a small financial surplus; the hope expressed that Kang-San will visit many churches in the coming months.

salt potThe delegates from Brazil and India brought greetings and messages from their respective experiences; the harvest resource based on work amongst mothers and babies in Afghanistan was reviewed. Finally in closing we were reminded of the words of Paul that in all our communications we should speak “words seasoned with salt”.

If you would like any more information about the work of BMS please feel free to contact: Adrian by email - click here or Norma - click here.


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