Towards being the agency of choice

Towards being the agency of choice
(left to right) CCMC Nepal Medical Mission Team, CharisMC Thailand Mission Team, TACMC Cambodia COSI Mission Team

As a denominational missions agency, the sustainability of the Methodist Missions Society’s ministries, and indeed, the rationale for our very existence, depend on how deeply the Singapore Methodist churches and community are invested in what we do. The key distinction between us and an interdenominational agency is the deliberate choice of a narrow but potentially more accessible denominational support base. For a denominational agency like us to remain viable, however, we must be seen as relevant and integral to achieving the missions objectives of our support base.

We may be positioned as the missions arm of The Methodist Church in Singapore but we do not take our denominational support for granted. We need to earn that support, which requires good engagement with our stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations and conversely, for them to understand our mission and objectives. It goes without saying that we should display good governance, stewardship and accountability.

We have been around for more than 30 years and partnered some 21 (out of 46) Singapore Methodist churches. We have left and continue to leave footprints of ministry in seven countries. It is now time for us to re-evaluate our role. How may we become the missions agency of choice for the Methodist churches in Singapore? Should a strong top-down leadership to spearhead and establish our ministries while rallying the support of the Methodist community and churches remain as our key approach? How can we reach the goal of being in partnership with all Singapore Methodist churches in missions, recognising that vibrancy in missions often resides at the local church and Annual Conference levels?

Having accumulated many useful experiences and practices, perhaps it is time for us to go beyond spearheading field initiatives, defining strategy, and developing missions roadmaps. Rather, we should additionally leverage our resources to promote a healthy and robust missions culture in our Methodist churches. It is not realistic to expect all of them to focus only on our MMS ministries. In fact, the more established Methodist churches have been involved with other agencies for longer than we have been in existence, and in fields where we are not present.

Therefore, for us to thrive, our challenge is to communicate our vision, mission and culture to the local churches to align our missions objectives, and to support and facilitate missions initiatives within the churches and Annual Conferences.

TRACers TimorLeste Mission Team
TRACers TimorLeste Mission Team
ACS (Indep) Laos CIP Team

In fields with potential, our emphasis is to play a significant role in the passing down of the Methodist legacy, with institutions such as churches, schools, charitable foundations, Bible schools, church governing bodies etc. For us to do so requires not only a disciplined strategic approach, but sustained partnerships and support across all levels of our Methodist denomination.

It is crucial for our existence that we actively strive to become the missions agency of choice to the Singapore Methodist community.

About Methodist Missions Society 

The Methodist Missions Society (MMS) was established in 1991 as the missions agency of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS). It is the first homegrown denomination-based missionary-sending agency in Singapore.

MMS seeks to establish indigenous churches supported by mission endeavours in communities across our region where there is no Methodist presence. Through MMS, MCS is positioned at the forefront of reaping in God’s harvest fields.

MMS is committed towards encouraging, enlisting, engaging, and empowering Methodists to serve in missions by partnering, praying for, and participating with MMS to reach those whom Jesus died to redeem. MMS also addresses social concerns, through healthcare, education, livelihood projects, and practical assistance.

The current focus is on the Asian region, particularly Cambodia, East Asia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam, owing to their proximity to Singapore and the immense opportunities to reach the large numbers of unreached people groups in these countries for Christ.

Alvin Tan is the chairman of Methodist Missions Society (MMS) / Photos courtesy of MMS