Missions, Outreach

MMS’ church-planting strategy making progress

HAVING DEFINED ITS STRATEGIC MISSION, vision and goals in 2009, the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) has begun to intensify the key goal of equipping its indigenous churches abroad to be more intentional in disciple-making.

Its mission is to fulfil Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28: 18-20 reminds us that our authority comes from Christ and we believe that our Lord is calling members of the Methodist community in Singapore to go into the world to preach the Gospel and make disciples. is is the heart of the Great Commission.

The MMS’ vision is to unite the Methodist community in Singapore to plant 800 indigenous, self-supporting and disciple-making churches in the region by 2020. It will focus its efforts on communities that have not heard of the Good News of Jesus Christ. It aims is to train nationals to lead their churches and ministries towards self-supporting, disciple-making churches that can multiply on their own.

It is greatly encouraged by the results of its efforts thus far. In Cambodia, working in partnership with the Conference

Ministry Team, it has increased its frequency in training the national trainers/multipliers. Besides providing training to the pastoral leadership, it is also moving towards training the lay people. It is planning to provide better teachers and lecturers to help the Cambodian Methodist Bible School in Phnom Penh produce good students.

It continues to partner the local people in providing much-needed resources and training to intensify the work of equipping the national workers in China. It operates the Bible Training School and an education and cultural consultancy company to reach out to professionals and university students. It has established 13 mission centres in various parts of China in the last three years.

The MMS is now in the fourth year of coaching and equipping leaders in Nepal. The first-generation leaders are now actively involved in the multiplication movement. The society is now serving in eight out of 75 districts.

The Nepalese Methodists now have their own Methodist Hymnal and Book of Discipline. A Local Church Executive Committee (LCEC) has also been formed – a first. Caleb Bible Institute continues to focus on producing labourers for Nepal.

The church-planting effort in ailand is taking some time as the leaders there are finding their direction and seeking clarity of God’s vision. The lukewarm response to the effort is also partly due to the dealing with three distinct groups of people – the Lahu, Isaans and ais. However, the New Year began with a new zeal after we have invested heavily in training the nationals.

This year also marks the launch of the Pastors and Leaders introductory training through partnership with the Transformation Alliance in Dili, Timor Leste.

The MMS senses a need for increasing its contribution and investment in Vietnam’s future through the International Christian Fellowship in Ho Chi Minh City and also a new effort of building and equipping the pastors and leaders.

Prayer is much needed as the MMS prepares to launch a second off-shore training centre for Laos this year.

With the increased momentum in equipping and training disciples it will be a natural progression to have a church-planting school within the MMS in the near future. Such a school will further crystallise its mission and consolidate its curriculum and teaching resources to help fulfil the Great Commission in those countries established by the MMS.

Col (Retd) Quek Koh Eng is an Area Director and Director of Operations of the Methodist Missions Society.