The Lord’s words that “the workers are few” (Matt. 9:37) are as true today as ever. Many thousands more godly, passionate, trained and proven men and women are desperately needed not only to serve existing churches but also to plant more gospel works and advance the gospel into areas of the country full of harvest but lacking any witness to Jesus Christ.
9:38 Vision and Mission
9:38 exists to help local churches raise gospel workers
- Resourcing pastors
– In developing a gospel training culture
– In mentoring those with gospel ministry potential
– In establishing ministry traineeships
- Envisioning those exploring gospel work
– Understanding gospel ministry
– Grasping God’s priorities
– Navigating a pathway into gospel work
- Encouraging trainees
– Promoting a diversity of excellent training opportunities
– Connecting potential trainees with trainers
– Clarifying next steps
The 9:38 Question
As Vaughan Roberts says,
“The aim is not to persuade everyone that they should give up their present jobs and offer themselves as workers to churches and missionary organisations. We all have different gifts. Some are suited to this kind of work, others are best used in other ways. We must resist the idea that some jobs are better or more ‘spiritual’ than others. But we should all be asking ourselves this question: ‘What is it that I could do, as the person I am and with the gifts that God has given me, that would most bring glory to God through the spread of the gospel?’ For some that will mean staying where they are; for others it will mean a significant change of direction.”
We seek to resource, envision and encourage through 4 main activities:
- Maximise Conference for trainees, trainers and delegates
- Resources for pastors and those exploring next steps
- Consultancy for church leaders in developing local training
- Promotion of ministry vacancies and training opportunities
What 9:38 is not
- A ministry apprenticeship scheme – we love to see trainee programmes springing up all over the country but 9:38 does not ‘have’ any apprentices in the sense of contracting or looking after them – that is the responsibility of local churches.
- A recruitment agency – we are very happy to post vacancies for ministry trainees and other gospel ministry posts but we do not have a stock of potential applicants ‘on our books’.
- A training organisation – we love to see gospel workers trained up and we do deliver some training to trainees and to church leaders but we are not a ministry training course or theological education provider.
- A denominational agency – we are conservative evangelical but our board, speakers and partners come from a range of denominations, networks and independent churches and we are not linked to any one denomination.
- A mission agency – we have a strong evangelistic concern for the Lord’s harvest field in the UK and overseas but we are not ourselves a mission agency sending out missionaries or supplying specialist expertise in missions.
We recognise that too often the raising up of gospel workers has been distorted by cultural preference, systemic bias, prejudice and blindness. We want to repent of that, listen to one another and change. We want to go back to the Bible together, as brothers and sisters from different cultures, to see what God values and commands and what gospel culture we should share.
There are three dynamics that flow out of reflection on Matthew 9:36-38; dynamics which we would want to be present in all of our gatherings and driving all our work as an organisation.
- Compassionate evangelistic zeal. We want to be harvest workers who share the concern of the Lord of the harvest – his gut-wrenching compassion for harassed, helpless Shepherd-less people who are heading towards judgment.
- Dependent, expectant prayerfulness. We want to be a prayer movement marked by humility and repentance and by bold expectancy knowing that not by might or power but by his Spirit he will move mountains and do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.
- Kingdom-minded spirit. We want to work together in an outward-looking open-handed and collaborative because we recognise that there is only one Lord of the harvest and only one harvest field, and it is not ours.
You can find out more about what 9:38 believes in our Doctrinal Basis, which we share with UCCF. To find out who’s involved in 9:38, check out Who’s Who. You can view our latest Annual Report on the Charity Commission website. And, for more on the original vision for 9:38 in the late 90s, see our History.
And here are some likeminded organisations and events to check out: