Orthodoxy and Effective Mission
Effective mission can be very costly. HO is a child of the mission of the Church of England, which came to Uganda in 1877. 3 men took gospel to his people by invitation of the then king in Uganda.
People left ancestral worship, shifted from being warring tribes to loving, shifted from culture of people to following culture of gospel. Look back in pride to effective mission of your people and their ancestors.
People paid the price for believing the gospel and the church grew. Over 8 million now in the Anglican Church.
Effective mission came from preaching Word of God and this shifted people culturally.
In 1935 revival swept through this part of Africa. Message centred on ‘walking in the light’. People showed fruit of conversion, enthusiastic, repenting. There was a new impetus and that revival is still on. Many came to living faith in Jesus Christ. People proclaimed Jesus is Lord and Jesus is alive. In a multi-tribal setting, people were brought to love one another.
Worship became meaningful. Singing changed from ‘English’ to Ugandan. Social life changed. ‘The old has gone, the new has come.’
The honeymoon season ended and testing came. From 1971-1979 Idi Amin ruled and that was the advent of a dark season. Amin killed many, fed people to crocodiles, ruined the economy, drained the nation of effective leadership and destroyed what could be destroyed. But the church remained.
He even killed the Anglican Archbishop to instil fear in the people. This backfired — Anglicans came back to the church, realizing that the gospel is expensive. Amin laid a seed of utter commitment.
Then in 1987 to the present there has been civil strife in northern Uganda. People have been displaced into camps, but the church has gone with them, not running away.
This is incarnational. Effective mission involves being with people in their situation. HO has to follow that through in his own work and ministry to people.
HIV/AIDS is a problem. The church has responded. Illicit sex is a key way of transmitting this virus and the church has responded in its preaching abstinence and faithfulness. Church has preached against adultery and cohabitation, which is fornication.
People need to hear the truth and only this can liberate us. Church has cared for people with HIV, with sick, dying and dead.
Effective mission is a necessity of passing the faith we hold today to the next generation. We have received from the apostolic ministry and people who brought the faith to us. We have to pass it on.
Young people in Uganda are looking for meaning, they are anxious, but they are also looking to know the living God. HO was and is a youth pastor. Unless the true gospel is passed on, we will lose these young people.
The gospel is like a relay race — we have to pass on the baton, including to young people. So HO goes to young people’s camps. HO recently spent a week in young people’s camp to convey to them how important they are.
Do we still have the young people? If we lose young people today, church is in very dangerous ground, so he is keen to communicate to them. Eight of his travelling team as they go round diocese are young people. They are an investment. The urgency of the mission needs to be deposited in their lives. The next generation needs to be mentored, by example, by teaching.
Do we have anything to pass on to the next generation? If we do, we must pass it on. How will history judge us with regard to the next generation.
Ezekiel 33:1-9 — the watchman against the coming sword.
The trumpet call is a matter of urgency. HO was an Anglican from an early age. Today, he has been a voice in Uganda as one who has met the Lord, experienced the love of God, and who is willing to share it with others. He has been arrested and threatened. You don’t have to be a criminal to be arrested. Effective mission will involve persecution and sacrifice.
Watchmen need a clear vision to see the enemy — thus our vision needs to be clear. The watchman needs a vantage point from which to see — sometimes we don’t see what is happening. The watchman must make a clear sound on the trumpet — the sound is not clear in this Communion.
He longs to proclaim in England what the English proclaimed in Uganda. There is a need for boldness and clarity to proclaim this gospel. The world may be deaf and may laugh, but we have God’s command to proclaim this gospel. Any other gospel is not equal to the gospel for which the martyrs died.
So may the God of truth come on our planet to transform us from hopelessness to hope in the cross, to knit our hearts together so that we may be faithful. We will stand, witness and if need be die for the Word of God.
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