During this summer at the Missions Hub, many brothers and sisters in Christ across the GTA meet up every Wednesday with the Missions Hub in downtown Toronto. We’ve been going through a Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course which takes an in-depth look at cross-cultural ministry and global missions through a Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic lens. As our Perspectives course drew near to its final weeks, we asked various students questions on their experience taking Perspectives. Here are their responses:
Could you share a bit about yourself and how you first heard about Perspectives?
My name is Jason and I’m going into my second year of Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto. I first heard about Perspectives from Chez who works at the Missions Hub. She told us that it would be a summer-long course talking about global missions and that it would be very packed with lots of wisdom being shared from missionaries, directors from missionary organizations, and pastors. It sounded like a great opportunity to learn about global missions. – Jason Chan, UofT P2C Student Leader
I’m a trained Engineer. I worked as a Chemical Engineer for about 8 years until God called me into ministry recently. Being connected with Missions Hub was how I heard about Perspectives. – Jimmy Chao, OMF Canada Missions Mentorship Coordinator
I’m a recent graduate from the University of Toronto where I completed my undergraduate degree in life science. I got connected with the missions hub through P2C and that’s where I heard about Perspectives. I knew about it the previous years it was run too, but finally made it out to this one. – Caroline Hircock, UofT Alumnus and UofT P2C Student Leader
I am a 28 year old TCK. I heard about Perspectives through word of mouth. – Christine Park, TEAM International Missions Coach
What are some key lessons/stories you learned throughout this Perspective Course?
Through the Perspectives Course, I love how it goes through the Biblical, Historical, and Cultural perspectives of global missions. One of the biggest things I learned was how the mandate for global missions didn’t just come from the great Commission at the end of the Gospels or from the beginning of Acts, but really it was laid out ever since the covenant with Abraham and has spread out through all the Bible, so that for me was very powerful to know that this is a mission that God has given to man to partner with Him for all eternity. That was one of the key things I learned.
Another thing that has been conveyed to me from an article I read was that every believer has a duty to partner with God in missions – no believer has the right to stay unless they’ve truly considered and prayed about going to the world in the name of Jesus. That made me really reflect and ask myself, “All this time have I been thinking about staying because that’s comfortable or that’s the easy thing to do? Have I really been ignoring this call to go because that seems to be out of my comfort zone?” But this article completely flipped it for me and changed my perspective. – Jason Chan, UofT P2C Student Leader
The concept about Modalities & Sodalities really hit home. A point was made that when we got rid of the sodalities after the Protestant Reformation, there was a 200 year lull in World Evangelization. That’s to say that we need the missions agency structure to co-exist with the local church body to complete the great commission. Another implication is that a local church (modality) cannot have the attitude that “we don’t need partners. We can fulfill the great commission on our own.” History would prove otherwise. – Jimmy Chao, OMF Canada Missions Mentorship Coordinator
The importance of adopting a spirit of humility and reliance on God. – Caroline Hircock, UofT Alumnus and UofT P2C Student Leader
God is a missionary God with a mission to bless all the families of the earth, and we get to be a part of that blessing. – Christine Park, TEAM International Missions Coach
Do you currently serve in any ministries (e.g. local church, campus fellowships, parachurch organizations)? What are some ways in which you could apply what you learned at Perspectives into your own ministry context?
In the upcoming year, I’ll be serving in a leadership position at [UofT] Power to Change and also a Sunday School teacher at my local church. I guess some ways in which I could apply what I learned at Perspectives at Power to Change is sharing what I’ve learned with the students there and really taking in this Perspective of the mandate for global missions. Through whatever material we’re going through, I would like to draw from what I learned from this course and share that with my discipleship group or people that we [individually] disciple. – Jason Chan, UofT P2C Student Leader
OMF Mobilizer – Missions Mentorship Coordinator. This was a great training course for my role. It is potentially a Seminary credit after all. – Jimmy Chao
I’m currently in between serving at ministries having just left P2C and being a little delayed in getting involved with my church. However, learning about cross-cultural missions has really inspired me to pursue learning about other cultures while in Canada before going overseas and serving a certain people group here first. – Caroline Hircock, UofT Alumnus and UofT P2C Student Leader
Yes, my full time job is with a missions agency and I serve with the Children’s ministry with my church. I learned a lot from each lesson, but the Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches lesson really stood out to me, maybe because that one was the most recent. Finding a pioneer for a vision to reach those in the peripherals of our Sunday services and knowing the people that God has placed in my city and how my church congregation is adjusting to convey the gospel in a way that would be understood well by those in my church community would be really helpful to identify, consider, and implement. I also learned again of the importance of house churches(home churches) to have a perspective to multiply and not just add. – Christine Park, TEAM International Missions Coach
If you were to chat with yourself when you were a new Christian on missions and cross-cultural ministry, what words of wisdom would you share with your younger self?
I guess ever since I was younger, I had this view of missions as something closely tied to colonialism because of what I learned from school or social media. I guess when I first became a Christian, my view of missions was still the same – I thought it was an imposition of thought on these people who wanted nothing to do with it. I even thought that as a Christian, but after going through this [Perspectives] course, what I would tell my younger self is that God wants every tongue, tribe and nation to worship Him. It’s not about imposing one single culture to all the nations of the earth, but instead the opposite way – embracing all the cultures that God has created to know His name so that we can have this huge plethora of people worshipping Him in every language and in every unique way that they are made – we want to see how beautiful that is. – Jason Chan, UofT P2C Student Leader
Don’t be so gung-ho. There’s a lot to learn from the greats of the past and from current trends in missions. Missions isn’t meant to be a solo activity. We need the wider body. – Jimmy Chao, OMF Canada Missions Mentorship Coordinator
Remember God and why you are serving before just doing. – Caroline Hircock, UofT Alumnus and UofT P2C Student Leader
Ask lots of questions. Be curious and read and connect with missionaries and mobilizers to hear their stories. – Christine Park, TEAM International Missions Coach
Random Bonus Question! If you were a fruit, what would you be?
The first thing that came to mind was papaya – I have no idea why. I don’t hate them. I don’t love them, but they’re okay. – Jason Chan, UofT P2C Student Leader
Pineapple – Yellow on the inside. Refreshing. Don’t touch me. – Jimmy Chao, OMF Canada Missions Mentorship Coordinator
Peach – Caroline Hircock, UofT Alumnus and UofT P2C Student Leader
Coconut – Christine Park, TEAM International Missions Coach
The Harvest is Plentiful, but the Workers are few
As these students are completing their Perspectives coursework, please continue praying that God will stir their hearts to bring the valuable truths covered throughout this summer course to be applied into their own respective ministries and to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Revelation 7:9-12, English Standard Version
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Our greatest thanks to Justin, who volunteered to write this piece! Justin is a nursing student at McGill who serves with Power to Change, and has trained as a Missions Discipler with the Missions Hub. If you would like to connect with the Missions Hub, or write a piece for us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Knox Church, Christ the King Church, Chinese Gospel Church and Runnymede Community Church for their generous collaboration this summer for Perspectives! From May 15 through Aug 21st, we averaged 75 people coming every Wednesday evening. This would have been completely overwhelming except for our wonderful volunteers; we could not have done it without you! We thank God for the 49 students and 102 other visitors who joined us over the summer!