More than 300 people helped us celebrate 125 years of pioneering mission with Serving In Mission on Thursday (May 10).
Missionaries, supporters, church leaders and many others filled St James's Church, Clerkenwell to give glory to God for all he has done through SIM since we were founded in 1893.
The day began with a panel discussion among church leaders and mission workers from different cultures and contexts, followed by a series of Ted talks for mission agency and church leaders as we shared our vision for a collaborative approach to making disciples of Christ where he is least-known.
That was followed by a chance for our former missionaries to get together and become part of our new alumni network, before the major evening celebration featuring keynote talks from SIM International Director Joshua Bogunjoko (right) and UK Director Steve Smith (below right).
Inspirational music was provided by the London African Gospel Choir (above) and there were food and refreshments from around the globe.
Steve said: “It was a wonderful celebration of all God has done through SIM over the last 125 years and an inspiration for the work that lies ahead.
“We were delighted to see so many supporters, church leaders and mission agency representatives and we hope they left with a renewed vision for multi-cultural outreach and disciple-making mission in, to and from the UK.”
Joshua spoke movingly of how he was brought up in a remote village in Nigeria which had once rejected the gospel. Only through the pioneering work of SIM mission workers in the early 20th century did that village come to know Jesus Christ. Indeed, 100 years after SIM mission worker Guy Playfair returned to the village in 1913, Joshua became the first African director of SIM International.
Speaking of the continuing need to take the gospel to people who have never heard it, he said: "As a product of pioneering mission I cannot give up on communities where Christ is least-known, no matter how small they may be."
Steve spoke from Acts 1:1-11 and emphasised our Biblical dependence on God's Spirit to lead us as we spread his word. He shared our vision to double the number of UK mission workers sent from 150 to day to more than 300 by 2025.
Prayer infused the whole celebration, with Joshua, Steve, former MECO worker Stephen, new trusteee Claire Newman and SIM staff member Amelia Catling all asking for God's help as he leads us into a renewed era of pioneering mission.
There will be more events around the country later in the year - click here to find out more and to book your place.