FLOM’s Finnish name, Kylväjä, refers to Jesus as the ‘Sower’: “The Sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world.” (Mt. 13:37-38). God sent his Son to die for the sins of the world and to bring hope of eternal life to humanity for the day of judgement. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24). The Son has sent out his followers with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit draws people to salvation and God’s family. The Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Mt.28:16-20) is for us law but its content is grace. As a mission organisation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF), FLOM is called to take part in this mission of the Triune God through proclamation and service.
We confess that we are part of Western society, which is increasingly distancing itself from God and Christianity. We confess that we are part of ELCF, which is becoming multi-voiced and faceless, and has become increasingly less relevant to many of its members. Subsequently, diversity has increased and new fellowships and worship communities have sprung up within ELCF.
Our self-centredness, indifference and indolence challenge us to a deeper understanding of the Gospel and the Word of God. The good news of forgiveness of sins through Christ results in faith, God’s people and mission. Only a humble and grateful trust in Jesus, as the only way of salvation for humanity, gives the Church, congregations and their members the courage and motivation to carry out the task of mission.
From the work of the Triune God, only the atoning work of the Son, Jesus, has been completed. The regenerative work of the Father continues, and the church building work of the Holy Spirit is unfinished. To find God’s will, we need to seek for renewal and to develop new patterns of co- operation and action in a world that is increasingly complex, confused and surprising. We call all members of God’s people to participate in mission, as we believe that there is a place for everyone in building the global Church.
We strive for a working relationship with local churches, which is based on openness and trust. We co-operate with the other mission organisations of the ELCF and with other like-minded organisations. As an international mission agency for ELCF and as a channel of Finnish development funds, we give special attention to quality and effectiveness. With our global partner churches we aim primarily to strengthen their independence and their own role in mission.
We give special emphasis on being committed to communal prayer during this strategy period. We ask the Lord, to whom the harvest belongs, to send more workers to the harvest. We pray especially for those people and people groups who have not yet had the opportunity to hear and receive the Gospel. We believe prayer is a gift and a mission.
We are committed to fulfil the joint mission strategy of ELCF, which envisions that by 2015, human and financial resources allocated to missions will increase, and that these will be channelled to areas where there is little or no Christian witness. Unless there is a major re-channelling of resources in world missions for this aim, the number of people living in unreached areas will have risen well over two billion by year 2015.
‘Jesus unto the World’ is the motto of our strategy statement. It refers to the example of Christ’s holistic ministry and incarnation. A holistic view of missions comprises both the proclamation of the Gospel and acts of service, which reach to the entire person in all aspects – physical, psychological, social and spiritual.
FLOM takes part in the fundamental task of ELCF as a reliable partner in accordance with the following strategy:
Our task is to promote God’s Kingdom among peoples according to the Great Commission.
As an official missionary organisation of the ELCF, we send missionaries overseas, we are Evangelical-Lutheran in Confession, we are committed to the Bible as our guiding authority, and our purpose is to promote God’s Kingdom, especially in areas, where there is little Christian witness. We are committed to a holistic view of missions comprising both the proclamation of the Gospel and acts of service, such as the improvement of community life and sustainable development.
- We send out workers in the spirit of gratitude for the reconciliation of God and humanity through the Cross. We acknowledge Jesus as the sole Saviour of the world.
- We are involved in church planting in areas, where Christ in not known. We believe that everyone has the right to hear the Gospel.
- We love and respect all people. We treat them equally as God’s creatures regardless of their age, sex, religion, social, cultural or racial background.
- We are willing to co-operate with others.
4. Main objectives and special areas of development 2011–15
The Gospel of Jesus brings about faith and Christian churches, and results in improving lives.
- People turn to the Redeemer as individuals and families, their sins are forgiven, they turn away from their idols, and start to live as Christians, believing in Jesus and in communion with other believers.
- We encourage and train partner churches and Christians in our areas of work to outreach and mission.
We present the Gospel and call new workers and supporters to missions
- We are a Christ-centred Bible teaching mission organisation.
- We strengthen our activities with small groups, who are dedicated to the Bible, mission and persistent intercession.
- Those interested in mission, especially youth and young adults, would find their way in FLOM as missionaries, senders and activists.
- We equip senders to have a wider responsibility than merely supporting an individual missionary.
- We base our view of missions on a holistic view of humanity. Therefore, in our media we uphold the Gospel, church planting and Christian welfare and development work.
We are good stewards of the human and financial resources entrusted by God to spread the Gospel to the world
- We strengthen our human resources to do overseas work.
- We optimise our use of resources by co-operating with churches, organisations and locally recognised community agencies.
- We aim to increase our total number of missionaries.
- We consider the growing number of old age pensioners a resource.
- We aim to increase the proportion of overseas work in relation to the total expenses of our work.
- We aim to increase private donations and funds allocated to FLOM by congregations.
- We ensure transparency in our spending.
We are an enthusiastically realistic community and a desired place to work
- We wish to be a channel to enable those called to missions to remain faithful to their calling.
- We are committed to working at helping all those invited to join us, to the fulfilment of the organisation’s mission.
- We invest in the holistic wellbeing of our workers and working community. We continue to clarify our methods and adjust them to our resources.
- We offer our staff opportunities of spiritual and professional growth.
- We are a community that lives in prayer and considers prayer a gift and a mission.
- We increase interaction and communication between our overseas work and the home office.