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Grace Baptist Mission CIO

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Oxon, OX14 3JD, UK

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Annual Mission Day 2015 Report

It is something quite special that in the UK today nearly 700 people will come together for a Saturday completely focused on world mission, yet that is what happens at GBM’s Annual Mission Day on October 24th.

The doors of the Renewal Centre in Solihull opened to a rainy day, but soon people were pouring in from Yorkshire, London, Kent, Suffolk, Gloucestershire and even Penzance and the Isle of Man. A mix of long-standing supporters, church leaders and a crowd of young people all made this one of the main spiritual events of the year for so many. We were joined by exhibitors from our partner mission agencies, and the large foyer felt like a mission marketplace of opportunities and information.  

GBM’s Annual Mission Day is a gathering of Grace Baptist churches, so the day always begins with a business meeting where the delegates elect the Officers and Council, approve the Annual Report and chew over the finances. This year we also said goodbye to Andrew and Ruth Sadler who are leaving GBM’s Support Ministries team, as well as welcoming their successors, Andy and Janet Woods.

The meat of the day is an array of mission presentations by the missionaries, which this year focused on the world’s neediest continent, Europe. In break-out sessions around the building we heard from missionaries serving in France, Austria, Poland, and Serbia, as well as welcoming a new couple who are going to serve in Central Asia. We also heard about the growing work of GBM’s Envision  programme, as the South Africa and Latvia teams reported on their time, and Hannah prior described life as an apprentice in Paris.  

At 3pm we come together for a main multi-media presentation, ‘A Light in Every City’, which this year focused on church planting across Europe. Common these emerged as missionaries spoke about the impact of the Catholic Church on the way ordinary people react to any other kind of church. They struggle to commit to a local church, and those who follow the traditional denominations frequently focus their worship on the saints rather than on Christ. There are so many cities across Europe that cry out for new churches to be planted. We hope to make a DVD of this presentation for use in your church.

In the final session, we enjoyed ministry from Andy Paterson of FIEC, as he challenged us not to compartmentalise our understanding of mission. Conversion must lead on to sanctification, as we go and make disciples. World mission is not a separate branch of church life; it is the role of the church. Mission is not just for professionals but for every church member, as much the job of the church here as of missionaries in other countries. Prayer for mission can seem like battling intercession, but it also needs to be mingled with praise to God. Indeed, praise to God fuels our prayer for mission. An mp3 recording can be downloaded here.

If you missed Annual Mission Day this year, then do make a date now for next year, when we meet at Friends House in London on Saturday 29th October. Our guest preacher will be Luke Jenner from Halifax.