As dramatic changes in the world develop at lightning pace, the reality is that the framework within which we live and operate is significantly compromised. It is essential that we understand new frameworks and how to best navigate them to propel us forward in our mission.
I have been meditating on and pondering the Kingdom of God and the ultimate reason for what we are doing. According to the vision of John in Revelation, our goal is the worship of the Lamb of God together with a community of people from every, tribe, nation, tongue and language. A key expression of that vision is to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.
Today’s stark reality is that more than 2.8 billion people have not heard this message of hope and transformation—and 57,000 people are added to this number daily. When I heard this, I was deeply impacted, and resolved that I want to be part of changing that trajectory.
One question fills my heart: “What is needed to change this trajectory?” I have been engaging the OM ships’ leadership with this and am encouraged to see their positive engagement. To effect a change in trajectory, we need a shift in thinking to understand our role. Given the unique reach and platform of the ministry that we have been entrusted with, by focusing on three pillars of Prayer, Partnership and Mobilisation, we are able to move more strongly toward a multiplication model to see that trajectory changed.
From the birth of OM, our focus on prayer has been critical and central and, thankfully, continues to remain largely so. It is important that we do not underestimate or shift this focus during the alignment process of our mission and beyond. In this age of fantastic technology and increased focus on strategic thinking and planning, we can easily relegate prayer to an opening and closing statement of blessing for our plans and thinking. For us, now more than ever, to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached, we need a greater focus on prayer and, I believe, fasting. Prayer is one of our main tools—with faith closely linked—for accomplishing this mission. We must not expect it to be easy.
We see throughout Scripture the example in the Trinity of a perfect partnership that has accomplished, humanly speaking, the impossible. We were created for community; integral to that is partnership, enabling us to combine skills and strengths and support each other for a cause much greater than ourselves. If we are going to see a change in the trajectory of these statistics, we need to be seeking partners in our ministries, fields and areas—not only within OM but, dare I say, primarily outside. As the old African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
When I refer to mobilisation, I think of four aspects: Excite, Engage, Equip and Exit. How do we help people move from excitement about God’s purpose to them living out God’s purposes among the least reached (Exit)? Our name and perhaps our DNA calls others to join. Given the incredible reach we have among thousands of communities that align themselves with God, how do we get more of His people to communicate the singular message of the Good News of God’s Kingdom, now more than ever?
If we are to see the trajectory of more than 2.8 billion+ people changed, we need more of His people focused and responsive in obedience to His heart for His Kingdom to come among them. We need to clearly, unapologetically and categorically call people to join the greatest cause ever.
Originally from South Africa, Seelan Govender has served with OM Ships International since 1999. Shortly after becoming Director on Doulos in 2009, the 95-year-old vessel was taken out of active service, with Seelan leading the Doulos community through the process of sudden change. Transferring to Logos Hope, Seelan was responsible for public events and, in 2015, became managing director, leading Logos Hope’s ministry until early 2017 when he was appointed as OM Ships International’s chief executive officer, responsible for the leadership and management of the organisation. Seelan is married with two children.