FAQ for pastors
- Who are you and where are you from?
- What are your denominational backgrounds?
- Why Tanzania?
- Who will you be working with in Tanzania?
- What exactly will you be doing in Tanzania?
- Why 10 years?
- Aren’t there more Christians in Africa than Australia? Hasn’t the Western missionary era finished?
- Who is CMS Australia?
- Is CMS denominationally affiliated?
- What can you offer my church?
- If you visit my church, what would you do?
- You said you’re going for 10 years — are we committing to supporting you for that long?
- How can my church partner with you?
About Arthur and Tamie
1. Who are you and where are you from?
We’re an Adelaide couple in our late twenties, high school teachers by profession, and each with a Master of Divinity (from Ridley). We met in 2002 at ES North Terrace while studying at the University of Adelaide, were married in 2006 and had our first child in 2012.
2. What are your denominational backgrounds?
Arthur grew up in the Uniting Church and a Lutheran high school, Tamie in a mix of Anglican and Uniting churches. We had theological training at Ridley Melbourne, which is an Anglican college, although we were in an interdenominational leadership stream. Like many Adelaideans, we value this interdenominational background and we see this mixture of relationships as a great strength.
About working in Tanzania
3. Why Tanzania?
We were open to going anywhere and were initially exploring student ministry in Europe. In 2009, that door was closed, followed by a concrete and enthusiastic invitation from Tanzanians to come and work with them. For us, the discernment process has been an ongoing accumulation of conversations and prayers, a bit like that of the church in Acts 15: ‘It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.’
4. Who will you be working with in Tanzania?
We’ve been invited to Tanzania by St John’s University, Dodoma, where we’ll initially be based while we explore further relationships.
5. What exactly will you be doing in Tanzania?
You’ll know from our video that we’ll be working with university students in Tanzania. It’s a Bible-teaching ministry seeking to introduce students to Jesus and encourage them to live for Jesus in their professions. However, because Tanzania is a different cultural context, it might look quite different to Australian student ministry! We’ll spend our first tour (three years) learning language and culture, building relationships, and attempting to understand how the world looks through a Tanzanian student’s eyes. The goal is to work collaboratively with Tanzanians to create a uniquely Tanzanian student ministry model. We’ve written further about this at various points.
6. Why 10 years?
We can only really become useful in another culture after about six years there. That’s what long-term intercultural work involves — and it provides a unique opportunity to learn language and build relationships at a very deep level. This investment recognises the dignity of the people with whom we’re working and their culture, and helps guard against ignorance or Western cultural imperialism on our part.
7. Aren’t there more Christians in Africa than Australia? Hasn’t the Western missionary era finished?
Yes! We don’t see ourselves as ‘taking the gospel’ to Tanzania — the gospel is already there and thriving! However, we do believe we have a part to play in seeing the gospel continue to take root. Just as the Western church has much to learn from Africans, so we as Australians have something to offer to Tanzanians, and they’ve invited us to explore this in partnership together. We’re seeking to work with Tanzanians, not impose ourselves on them.
About CMS Australia
8. Who is CMS Australia?
CMS Australia is a network of people who care about crossing cultures with the message of Jesus, and one of the world’s oldest mission agencies. Read about CMS Australia’s vision and values
9. Is CMS denominationally affiliated?
CMS traces its history back to 1799 in England with Wilberforce and co, the people who advocated to end the British slave trade. There have been historic links with Anglicans and evangelicals. Today, CMS Australia is a non-denominational evangelical mission group, and receives no money from a particular denomination. In South Australia, the CMS staff, workers and supporters hail from a range of different churches and denominations.
About partnership with local churches
10. What can you offer my church?
Our main job with local churches is giving people the opportunity to hear what God is doing further afield in his world, and to learn more about their place in this. We’re keen to lift our horizons beyond our own work, so we talk about things like worldview, the African contribution to the global church, and living as a Christian in the workplace.
11. If you visit my church, what would you do?
It’s open for negotiation and we’d love to hear from you about the needs of your church. Here’s one suggestion as an example: you have a ‘Missions Sunday’ in which we do a kids talk, and/or share about our work in Tanzania, and/or preach. We’re especially keen to visit small groups or Bible studies to interact at a more personal level. We have a range of presentations, simulations and case studies that you could choose from.
12. You said you’re going for 10 years — are we committing to supporting you for that long?
Only if you want to! We suggest that you come on board for our first tour of three years. We can reassess our relationship when we next return (end of 2015).
13. How can my church partner with you?
We see partnership as relational. The key thing is for you to keep in touch with us and the best way to do that is to subscribe to our monthly updates. That’s also how you can pray with us. Secondly, make sure you have copies of our CMS profile brochure. If you need some, write to Kate at email@example.com. Thirdly, financial support becomes a product and token of real relationship. For more information about giving, see our financial support page.
Some further information about partnership and CMS can be found in the following documents: