He Tangata | The People
In November (2015) I was asked to present a 10 minute snapshot of my vision for the future of mission from, within and to Aotearoa New Zealand. This is a slightly edited version of my inaugural address as the new Director of Missions Interlink, our national association of mission passionate organisations and people.
Tena tātou katoa e te iwi mīhana… (Greetings to all in the tribe of missions)
I sincerely hope the year is off to a great start for you all. At the Missions Interlink (MI) office we have been working over the past few months developing new systems for MI and there’s much more left to do as we ‘lengthen our cords and strengthen our stakes’ (Is 54:2) for new growth and momentum within the missions community of Aotearoa New Zealand.
As we labour, one persistent thought keeps guiding our way. It is expressed in the Māori whakataukī (proverb), “He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao.” (What is the most important thing of this world?) “He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.” (It is the people, it is the people, it is the people).He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao. (What is the most important thing of this world?) He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. (It is the people, the people, the people) Click To Tweet
Since its inception in 1972 Missions Interlink NZ has been a closely interactive network for the mission minded in Aotearoa New Zealand, and we have done a great job at collaborative collegiality for the members who choose to participate. But what would it look like if we were to take it a step further and commit to being a missional community, even more, a missional family – whanau (family) nga mihinare (of missionaries)?
This is my desire for the missions community in Aotearoa New Zealand. That wherever we gather, and whoever gathers with us, there we are family.
Jesus calls us to pursue such unity, which Paul confirms, “So now you… are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family” (Eph 2:19 NLT). One of the hallmarks of the missions community should be our ability to develop unity in diversity, and help the Church of Aotearoa to do the same.
Follower of Jesus, what would it cost you to foster unity with the rest of God’s people? Consider what it cost Jesus, and #stayonmission. 👊🏼
Ma te Atua e manaaki koutou,
(Every blessing of God to you all)