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Grace Baptist Mission CIO

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GBM Annual Mission Day 2019

GBM is a church-based mission, and our Annual Mission Day this year focussed on the role of the local church in world mission. It was as always our biggest event of the year, and people joined us from churches across the UK and the Isle of Man, from as far afield as Broadstairs and Bury, Netley and North Preston. We estimate that over 600 people were with us for some or all of the day at Friends House in Euston, London.


The focus of the delegates meeting was the Great Commission, that all authority has been given to Christ, and therefore we go, while the promise of Christ is that he will build his church and the gates of hell will not overcome his work. An increased number of delegates and several new member churches approved the budget for the coming year and elected new members of GBM Council.


Annual Mission Day is a buzz of breakout meetings. This time we had presentations from Keith Charlton of OneHundredFold and our partners at Pastor Training International and Christian Books Worldwide. James Hammond reported on a year’s work in the new church-plant in Bordeaux, while Andrzej Kempczyński described the long haul of establishing a church in Poland. Jason and Andrea Murfitt are currently based in the UK and described their plans as they prepare to move to Madeira to start a new church. Theo and Sonja Donner gave an interview session where they talked about Colombia and Theo explained the purpose behind his new book, The history of exegesis. Jean Ellis reflected on the Lord’s goodness to her through seventy years of life and nearly forty years of missionary service. Daniel and Ellie Caballero came over from Ireland to explain how the Lord has led them there and given them new opportunities for the gospel. Others talked about Bible translation or work among Asians in Britain. Picking which session to go to is a challenge, and so often the conversation on the train home is ‘So what did you get to go to?’ as people swap notes. We intend Annual Mission Day to be busy, and we like it that way.


The multi-media session in the main hall went back to our roots in the Victorian era. 125 years ago this year a group of churches met to pray for a whole day, and as a result sent out our first missionaries to serve in India. This led into a range of different people and projects where local churches are getting involved in sending, both short- and long-term, through GBM Envision, and initiatives such as Proclamation Zambia. What if your church has no one to send? David and Mairi Campbell described how their church learnt the ‘power of littles’ in its giving, and how they started to reach Asian women in their community. GBM Radio has a reach that stretches to thousands of rural African churches, equipping pastors through radio programmes to handle God’s word better. Finally, churches send people to plant churches that plant churches. James Hammond explained the thinking that had led to the start of Eglise Bordeaux Chartrons, and then a video of Hanson Manova described new things happening among the Tamil Baptist churches of South India.


In the final session of the day we said farewell to Jean Ellis on her retirement in Austria, and we also said goodbye to Jim and Helen Sayers as Jim moves on from the role as GBM Communications Director to lead a new church-plant in Didcot. Theo Donner preached with passion and power from 1 Cor. 1:17-31, focussing on the importance of our prayers for casting ourselves in our weakness on the power of God.


We love the way that Annual Mission Day reinforces every year the partnership in the gospel that we have as local churches working together in world mission. One way that is expressed is in the offering on the day which this year totalled £18,782 (including Gift Aid), for which we thank God.


Next year’s Annual Mission Day will be in Solihull on Saturday 24 October.