Our ministries are governed by a few core values. These values come first from the Scriptures, and second from our years of experience in Taiwan. These values are:
Priority of Prayer
We believe that all ministry involves spiritual warfare and all growth comes only from the work of the Spirit of God. Therefore, we serve in prayerful dependence upon God. We also seek the participation in our ministry of Christians around the world through prayer. Without prayer there will be no fruit.
Jesus gave us the example of ministry with other believers in pairs or teams. We aim to work in teams that may include other missionaries and/or local believers. This may involve the designation of missionaries to work with Taiwanese churches and organizations, or the establishment of ministry teams to develop new ministries. Where teams are not working under the authority of the local churches they should strive to ensure that good relationships are maintained with local Christians, conscious that a key role of such teams is to both learn from the experiences of national believers and model pioneering ministry. All missionary teams should aim to seek to include or train local co-workers with the ultimate aim of handing over to Taiwanese leadership.
Proclaiming the Gospel
The goal of all our ministries is to see the establishment of healthy churches among all the different working class peoples in Taiwan. We are not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Rom 1:16) so we seek to proclaim it effectively to the Taiwanese working class. Whilst in many cases seeking to genuinely minister to the physical and personal needs of Taiwan’s working class, all our ministries have the ultimate aim of leading people to Christ and to become members of His Church. Healthy churches are those that are based on a careful teaching of scripture. It is our belief that our entire ministry should be characterized by a desire to help people understand the Bible and through that understanding; seek to live as Christ’s disciples. OMF missionaries should be continually studying the Bible to understand its teachings and how best to both apply and teach it within our ministry contexts.
Living the Gospel
We believe our personal godliness is the key to effective ministry. An OMF leader once said, “One of the greatest contributions made by missionaries in Taiwan has been through the beneficial influence of the missionary’s spiritual character and conduct.” OMF encourages its workers to continually develop and grow in their relationship with God and to demonstrate such growth through personal holiness and integrity in our ministry and personal relationships. This godliness is achieved through prayerfully seeking to live in submission to the Bible as the word of God.
Successful Christian ministry is characterized by a boldness from God (1 Thess 2:2, Phil 1:27-28) Like Timothy, we are called to avoid a ‘spirit of timidity’(2 Tim 1:6-12). Boldness in Christian ministry is matched with personal humility as it is based upon: the power of God at work in us, not our own ability; the love of Christ which drives us, shunning pride and boasting (1 Cor13:14); and self-discipline, avoiding being driven by our emotions and desires, but instead focusing on the vision and mission to which Christ has called us. Our boldness will be characterized by 1. a willingness to pioneer new ministries, seeking to reach the hard places of Taiwan. 2. a willingness to be creative in ministry, trying new and untried methods. Personal humility means we give ourselves and others permission to fail, knowing that God teaches us through success and failure and that ultimately it is God who will grow His church (1Cor 3:6). 3. a willingness to release control of ministries to others, including Taiwanese working class believers knowing that they too have the Spirit of God (1 John 2:20).
The writer to the Hebrews paints a picture of Christians cheered on by the saints that have gone before, throwing off all hindrances to ‘run the with perseverance the race marked out for us’ (Heb 12:1). This has always been an image that has challenged our mission as we consider those in OMF and CIM who persevered in the past, ‘Ours is the same commission, The same glad message ours. Fired by the same ambition…’ (lyrics from ‘Facing a Task Unfinished’ by Bishop Frank Houghton.) The call to perseverance applies to both our personal call to holiness and also to our vision for ministry. This means we commit ourselves to prepare for long- term ministry through language and culture study. It means we persevere when ministry is hard work and discouraging, being patient and standing firm. It means we are willing to persevere even through suffering (James 5:8,10) fired both by the longing to see disciples among Taiwan’s working class and the desire to be ‘counted worthy of the kingdom of God’ (2 Thessalonians 1:5) and the special task to which we have been called.