Missions, Outreach

‘No theological training, but can I serve in mission fields?’


“IDON’T have formal theological training but I would like to be involved in mission. Are there opportunities for me to serve in Methodist Missions Society’s mission fields abroad?”

The enquirer, an experienced teacher, wanted to serve in the mission fields abroad but was under the impression that mission was primarily the preaching and teaching of the Gospel. For her, to be of any significant use in the mission field, she needed first, to enrol in a formal course in theology.

Firstly, let us affirm that mission is not primarily about a location but a calling, a way of looking at life and a way of living. Our Christian mission derives from the mission of Christ when He said, “I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. ’’

Secondly, all of us are called to a missionary lifestyle, that is, we seek to participate in the mission that Christ established whether that be at home or elsewhere. This implies we are Christ’s missionaries in whatever context we may be, whether ordained or lay, theologically trained or otherwise.

What is important is to understand and identify with the mission of Christ and to strive to use our talents, skills and resources to see His mission being fulfilled in the opportunities that He provides for us. In this sense there is need for every believer to live and function as a Christian missionary.

The overseas mission field is one area where we can use our skills, talents and resources. Yes, theological training is helpful and can open up many needy areas of ministry. In fact, ideally, all of us should be theologically literate.

However, this does not imply that only preaching, teaching and discipling are the “real” ministry. Many projects and other forms of ministries would be severely hampered if there was inadequate administrative and financial back-up.

Sometimes it is these less glamorous and often forgotten roles that make the significant contribution to enable an effective preaching, teaching and discipling ministry.

I would like to highlight a few of our current needs in the overseas mission fields where professional skills can make a major contribution to ministry:

In CAMBODIA, we are in need of an educationist who can serve as a Principal of the Methodist School. Currently, this is a primary school and our long-term plan is to see it develop into a comprehensive vibrant, educational institution that provides good education with a strong moral and Christian emphasis. Our dream is to see the nation transformed by those who have passed through our doors.

A qualified and experienced Administrator/Accounts staff is also needed to help provide the administrative and financial back-up for the Methodist ministry, which includes an orphanage, a women’s centre, a kindergarten, a school, a livelihood project, various churches and preaching points. This role includes training national staff in administrative and accounting skills that will equip them to take on the responsibility for such duties.

In CHINA, we are developing and running a youth drop-in centre where an experienced Youth Worker with a background in education and/or planning will be a great help.

The ministry in all the countries that the Methodist Missions Society works in can be further enhanced with a qualified Teacher of the English language at primary, secondary and adult levels. Teaching English can also be a means of entry into the new fields of Laos and Timor Leste.

Then there is always the role of the “Tentmakers” in supporting existing work as well as in breaking ground in new areas.

Indeed there are many possible areas of ministry because we serve a God who has a role for each of us in His body and who can use each of us in fulfilling His mission.

The Rev Ajit Hazra is Field Director of the Methodist Missions Society

◆ Principal in a Methodist primary school in Cambodia
◆ Administrator/Accounts Staff in Cambodia
◆ English language teacher in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Laos, Timor Leste
◆ Youth Worker in China
◆ Tentmakers in China, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Timor Leste


GoForth National Missions Conference

THIS year’s GoForth National Missions Conference intends to get people connected with the “How-to’s” of missions.

The conference will be held at the Suntec City Convention Centre from June 15 to 18. Its theme is “From Vision To Harvest”, and there will be many workshops.

Bishop Dr Robert Solomon will be one of the five plenary speakers.

There will be evening rallies at the centre’s main auditorium on the 6th level, and admission is free.

Remember to visit the Methodist Missions Society’s Exhibition Booth No. 7.

Registration for the conference is open at www.go4th.org.sg