SIM’s new Mission and Purpose Statements took effect on January 1, 2016, following a wide-ranging and collaborative process. But what are their moorings in the timeless pages of Scripture? What are their moorings in the broader, lively dialogue on missions today? And how are these statements rooted in our DNA as a global mission in the early decades of the 21st century? This is what this Bible study is all about. Whether you just heard about SIM ten minutes ago, or have been a member or friend of SIM for 50 years, this study will enlarge your understanding of the particular calling that God has been leading SIM to fulfil.
Organisations often change over time, and their statements evolve with them. But this is not the sense in which our statements have changed. In our journey to craft these words, we carefully examined Scripture; we revisited why our founders went out; we observed changes in the world; and we concluded that we must remain faithful to our founding purpose, our founding call and our founding commitments. While strategies, methods and protocols evolve, our statements remain anchored in the original vision God gave to our pioneers.
Now in the season of our 125th anniversary celebrations, there is no better time to return to the simple ‘why’ of our existence, captured in these statements. It is with great pleasure that we present the following Bible study, a complement to our statements. A multi-ethnic team has contributed to this work, and we hope the final result will support you to flourish spiritually and in ministry.
We invite you to engage with it individually, and together as ministry teams, offices, and countries. It can also be printed and given as a gift to friends, family, supporters and ministry partners. New workers in SIM will benefit from this study as well, as they learn about the community of SIM with whom they are serving.
As we have done for more than 125 years, so we do today: we seek the lost who are living and dying without Christ behind diverse barriers to the gospel. By Prayer, we cross these barriers to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, may the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea!
HISTORICAL NOTE: A review of SIM’s statements was mandated in 2014 by the International Board of Governors. A review process began the same year, with the assistance of a Working Group who undertook the huge task of developing multiple options for consideration. A proposed statement was discussed by the Board in February 2015, with further input from the Global Assembly in March. This statement went on to all SIM entities for review by their boards and councils. Their comments and input contributed to the final wording, submitted to the International Board of Governors in August 2016, and then unanimously approved by all signatory entities. The new Mission & Purpose of SIM took effect January 1, 2016.