SIM Niger has a clear vision: by faith, we see a holy, mature Church transforming Niger and beyond.
This simple statement captures for us why SIM Niger is working in this country. This vision has three parts.
(a) A Holy, Mature Church
The churches that are related to SIM face many challenges. Despite some uphill battles, we believe that the Church is still God’s chosen instrument for bringing the message of redemption to the lost of Niger. Therefore, we must invest in the maturing and building up of the Church of Christ. As Paul wrote to the early Christian church at Colossae in Greece, “…that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” (Col. 1:28)
(b) Transforming Niger
In parts of the world plagued with low trust, entrenched tribalism, institutionalised corruption, high unemployment, the church transformed offers a unique message of hope and renewal. – Joe Gallop
“…that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine line stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.” (Phil. 2:15-16)
(c) And Beyond
As the African church is mobilised in missions, the potential for the spread of the Gospel will be greatly multiplied. The Nigerien church must one day find its place in God’s global plan for the world. The time has come to promote and encourage the beginning of a missionary vision.
To achieve our vision, we see six related areas of focus.
1. Prayer & Worship
Revival and renewal are not products of a program or method. Anything we do of lasting value must be done in dependence on God.
Within the mission, we are trying to promote prayer in the personal lives of our missionaries, and collectively as SIM Niger.
With our church brothers and sisters, one recent area of involvement as been in the foundation of Nigerien chapters of the College of Prayer International. Its purpose is to train leaders in how to make prayer the center of the ministry of the Church.
2. Mission Church Relations
This priority remains a key challenge. In all cross-cultural situations there is the possibility of poor communication or misunderstanding. The work of SIM Niger has not been exempt from this in the past, and mistakes must be learnt from.
However, in recent times great progress has been made in restori
ng relationships between churches, and growing ties between the church and the mission. We pray for a consistent spirit of receptiveness and humility to strengthen and keep healthy relationships.
3. Disciplemaking and Church Planting
All ministries of SIM Niger have a goal to evangelise the lost of Niger, and to see new believers ground their identity in Christ.
Beyond our projects and ministries, we encourage every missionary to be involved in the lives of people around them.
An area of expansion is how we use media. Studies have shown that many of those we work with are more tuned in to non-print media, rather than books. The focus in several ministries is shifting towards how to best utilise the growing accessibility to media.
4. Christian Leadership Training
Leadership training has been identified as a key need by the church and SIM.
SIM is one of the founding partners of the Ecole Supérieure Privée de Théologie (ESPriT) in Niamey, which offers university level theological training.
SIM missionaries are also involved in TEE training, literature development, theological education in Hausa and Fulani, and modular Bible school courses.
Additionally, Niamey’s Foyer Evangélique Universitaire is a direct outreach to the student community in Niger’s capital, and offers a transformational leadership program for Christian and non-Christians alike.
5. Christian Education
SIM Niger has become increasingly convinced that if we are serious about transformation in the Church and Nigerien society, we have to invest in the education of children.
During childhood, worldview and character are formed. We believe leadership training is best accomplished when it begins at home and is reinforced at school.
SIM Niger believes that it is best placed to invest in the training of teachers. Trained, committed teachers are the key to Christian Education that transforms the whole person. Our long-term vision is to help supply with churches with these well-trained teachers.
We have offered training seminars to Christian teachers for several years, but are seeking collaborators and prospective missionaries to meet the larger vision. Through training and mentoring teachers alongside academic coaching, we believe it is possible to have a transformational effect on the education of future generations.
6. Community Service Ministries
Community projects offer the chance to share Christ’s love and meet practical needs simultaneously. Even non-SIM related Nigerien church members are proud of projects like Galmi Hospital, CSL Danja and Sowing Seeds of Change in the Sahel.
These projects touch people in a personal way, and allow us to reach out to some of the most needy and often marginalised people in Nigerien society. Serving communities is even more than a gateway for the gospel – it is a visible demonstration of a commitment to love and come alongside communities in need.
Putting it all together
Not only do our six priority areas contribute to the overall goal of SIM Niger, but we believe that growth in any area contributes to the development and strengthening of the other areas as well.
While the work in Niger remains challenging, the Christian church bears the testimony that God is working in this land. In time, we believe that by following His leading and staying focused on these key priorities, the growth and development we long to see will come.