News Update – February 2016

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From this issue of News Update:

What is the mandate of CIM? Why do we do what we do? Why do we go halfway around the world to do cross cultural missions? Occasionally I have been asked these questions and the natural response that I almost automatically give is “The Great Commission” found in Matthew 28:16-20. As a Christian, we have almost been programmed to give this answer. But what exactly is the Great Commission? Well, it is something that we should have all heard and even be familiar with as it should be the mission statement or at least a part of the mission statement of all Christians. But the reason I want to share about the Great Commission is because essentially these were one of the last words of Jesus to His disciples and one of our first instructions to do as Christians. It is a very familiar passage and one that is taken for granted whenever missions are discussed.

Over the next few months, I will be writing about the Great Commission, so that we can all be on the same page, and to really understand why CIM does what it does. In this month’s update, to be motivated for the Great Commission, we need to KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING. One of the cornerstones for our faith is definitely the Great Commission. I want to very briefly highlight some of the main points of this passage and hopefully bring us back to the basics of our faith to keep the main thing the main thing.

Firstly, the Great Commission is GROUNDED IN THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. Verse 17 says, “When they (the disciples) saw Him …” This was after the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Jesus, after His death, directs the disciples to this mountain so He can give them the principle mission of the church. “When they saw Him …” Jesus was alive. He was resurrected from the grave. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:14 says this, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Our mission is supernatural because it is grounded in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a person who defeated death so we wouldn’t have to.

Secondly, the Great Commission is CENTRED IN WORSHIP. Verse 17 again, “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him …” The Great Commission was given in worship and today it is still realized in worship. Hebrews 10:25 says “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Our very existence is born in worship, sustained in worship, and also advanced in worship. We may lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ anywhere, but we need to direct them back to worship God collectively as the body of Christ. John Piper, a famous pastor and author, puts it very well. “The fuel for world wide missions is worship.” Another famous pastor and theologian, Edmund Clowney states it this way. He proclaimed, “that worship, itself, is evangelistic in nature. The fact that men and women gather together because they believe the risen Savior is there, that they sing to Him and pray to Him and interpret His Message for our own day is a sign of our faith.” The Great Commission is centred in worship.

Though CIM Canada have been involved in many projects in Ghana and Togo; from financing the construction of school buildings to funding snake bite serum to desperately needed areas, the primary focus of our STM mission teams is to keep the main thing the main thing. We are evangelistic in nature concentrating on sharing the gospel and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do this through sharing our testimonies, skits, preaching, children’s programs, pointing people towards a saving relationship through Jesus Christ.

Worship is also an integral part of our ministry. All of our teams have enjoyed the vibrancy, the singing and the dancing during all their services. It may be very different than what we are used to in the conservative Western world, but it has been a wonderful experience to worship our Lord together with our African brothers and sisters. Our God is a big God and there are many different ways to worship Him.

Next month we will continue our brief study of the Great Commission and how CIM follows this teaching of Jesus Christ as one of the cornerstones of our ministry. Stay tuned and keep serving the Lord.

Rev. Isaac Quan
Executive Director