There’s a Cancer in God’s Church
Of all the cells in the body, only cancer cells act independently of the rest. They are separate and apart…and destructive. This is the analogy Oscar Miuri, a pastor of Mavuno Church (Nairobi, Kenya), used on March 22nd at Mariners’ Global Vision Event when talking about churches that stand alone, isolated from the rest of God’s Church.
Regrettably, this analogy is true of many North American churches and churches throughout the northern hemisphere. The churches of wealthier nations often operate under the assumption that they don’t need anyone, but rather, the rest of the world needs them. These churches have been sending missionaries to foreign lands to “spread the Gospel” to the poor all over the world, in fulfillment of God’s Great Commission. In Matthew 28:19, it says “…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (NIV). In Acts 1:8, it says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)
But those verses were intended for all of God’s children…not just those in the northern hemisphere…which means they’re not the only ones God selected to spread his Word. Those in other countries, rich and poor, were given the same instructions. I remember the day this clearly sank in for me—it was when I heard a Kenyan say that his “ends of the earth” was Southern California. What?!
All outreach, including global ministry, is a two way street. God intended for all his children to minister to and with each other for the good of all mankind. It’s a collective effort, which means that no one church is more important or influential than the next. A church that believes it is, is a cancer in God’s Church.
Our Haiti Ministry is incredibly fortunate to be part of a church that has embraced this lesson. Check out the Mariners Church Outreach mission statement: Mobilizing the Whole Church with the Power of the Whole Gospel, Changing the Whole World.
We’ve learned from leaders in the Global Church that we are not exporting Christianity but joining in what God is already doing across the globe. We are helping each other become the Church God intends us to be by embracing a global worldview. We are stronger and better together, daring to explore what we could do together which we could not possibly do apart.
Currently, Mariners is partnering with churches in eight different countries, of which Haiti is one. The others include Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Egypt, China, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. Together, we form one global ministry that shares the same values:
• Indigenous visionary leadership
• Transparent relationships at multiple levels
• Posture of listening and learning on both sides
• Mutual respect and collective decision making
• Ability to mobilize and engage people of Mariners
• Collaborative goals and projects
• Long term relationships
Interested in learning more? We encourage you to visit Mariners’ Outreach website. There, you can learn more about Mariners’ Outreach mission, vision, and values, and about local and global outreach opportunities in which we hope you’ll get involved.