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Finding the Right Lenses

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  • Vision |
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    A message from Rev Jane Howitt, minister of St Rollox Church in Glasgow and chair of the Interserve GBI board, about how the Interserve community is seeking to walk out God’s vision for the future.

    The other day, I checked out whether I could get my eyes tested now as lockdown restrictions were easing. Happily, the answer was, “Yes”. It’s good news because my vision is definitely suffering from endless hours in front of a screen. It’s the optician’s job to prescribe the right lenses to align and correct the vision in both eyes.

    The Role of the Board

    In some way, that might describe the role of the Board in Interserve GBI vis-a-vis the fellowship’s vision. There is a vision given to us as an international fellowship – we desire to see lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ. The board’s role is to ensure that the lenses through which we see and operate align with our vision.

    The lenses will need to be changed and corrected, and sharpened from time to time to ensure that the vision is absolutely in focus.

    At the moment, we are working together to make sure that we have the right lenses to bring our vision into the sharpest possible focus. God has not left us alone to discern these things and his Holy Spirit is key in this process. We have been listening to your input to our vision and strategy process, through surveys, workshops and interviews. We have been challenged to listen outside of Interserve and have had stimulating interaction with key missiologists at home and overseas. We are inviting the fellowship to commit to prayer as we discern the voice of God’s Spirit so far and look to him to shape the lenses we need for the next stage of our life together. Those lenses will be our strategic priorities – the things we need to focus on to more clearly see our vision fulfilled.

    Dealing with Resistance

    Not too long ago, I had to get varifocal lenses, and at first, I was a bit resistant to them. They were so different to what I had been used to in just having specs for driving and distance. I suspect that many of us may feel some resistance to what God will be revealing to us in this process of looking at how we fulfil our vision. So much has changed in our world in such a short space of time, and it can take us a while to catch up. There have been significant global shifts in missions even in the last ten years and significant challenges to how mission agencies are operating. Adapting long-held assumptions and attitudes to genuinely respect and honour the world church will require a change of lens for us. Loosening ties to the familiar in cherished areas of service and embracing the unknown and the uncomfortable will demand humility, patience and a generosity of spirit but will surely make us more Christlike in fulfilling His call to us as a part of the Interserve family here in Great Britain and Ireland, and with our partners overseas.

    When I leave the optician, I always have this sense of expectancy, waiting for my new glasses to be ready, because I know that I will see things in much sharper focus once I have the new lenses. It’s my prayer that you may share in our sense of expectancy in Interserve GBI at the moment as we wait for those new lenses, which will bring our vision for the next few years into a much sharper focus.


    Thank you for commiting to praying

    Your prayers make a difference! Thank you for praying to see transformation in the lives and communities of Asia & the Arab World.

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