‘The African Church – growing, vibrant and confident in the Gospel has tremendous untapped potential to reach the African continent and beyond.’ AIM missionary Tony Swanson lives in Morogoro, Tanzania, and coordinates the Institute of Bible and Ministry (IBM) under the authority of the African Inland Church in Tanzania, and is also AIM’s African Mobilisation Consultant.
Tony writes, ‘One of the major challenges for the 21st century is to see the growing church in Africa fulfil its responsibility of taking the gospel to the remaining unreached peoples of Africa and beyond.’
So how do we go about it? AIM has traditionally been effective in sending overseas personnel for church planting and pastoral ministry. But whilst our African partner churches have grown locally among their own people groups, they have not readily adopted the missionary vision to go ‘to the ends of the earth’.
With the number of Christians on the continent increasing daily, there is a move of God’s Spirit to envision this part of the body to take up the baton and go. The AIM Mobilisation Hub is our organisation’s response to this move. It is based on a partnership model, providing services that will help facilitate the mobilisation of African missionaries. The Hub is run by a virtual team, seeking to take into account the many areas of mobilisation that are not yet being addressed. Visit our African Mobilising website to find out more.
Meeting mobilising challenges
One of these key issues is the need to mobilise the whole African church to mission, rather than just scattered individuals. So we are looking to support our church partners, helping them to build that vision into their ministries, as well as developing structures that mean they can send and support missionaries.
For this to work effectively we realise that we need to broaden our horizons and develop our mobilising efforts through partnerships and networks, rather than through a single organisational structure. This will mean that AIM doesn’t necessarily have to do the training, or send missionaries. Instead, we can connect potential missionaries with our partners. This approach means that we can better meet people’s needs and incorporate them at any stage of the mobilisation process.
A further barrier to cross-cultural mission for the African church has traditionally been the cost. Raising support can be challenging for African missionaries. Therefore, the Hub is designed to be cheaper than the traditional mission agency approach, with individuals and churches working out what reasonable support rates look like without being burdened by large administrative fees. Without a traditional mission agency approach it also means that English is not necessarily a requirement – opening up more opportunities for more people from different backgrounds to get involved in mission!
How could you help?
If you would like to give towards this fund please visit our giving page on our website by clicking here or call us on 02 4322 4777.