This vision has not faltered since our beginnings in 1852: Lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ
Today, Interserve is an interdenominational and truly international community of Christians, bringing God’s love to the peoples of Asia and the Arab World through word and action.
Wherever we work, we do so in partnership, serving the global church and encouraging newer mission movements. Increasingly our mission Partners are coming from Latin America and Asia, with new sending partnerships in Africa.
Our 800+ mission Partners use their professional skills, including medicine, theological education, teaching or business, to share the love of Christ with the people with whom they live and work. They operate as salt and light in some of the hardest places in the world in obedience to Jesus’ commission to “go and make disciples of all nations”.
On the following tabs you can view more information that describes the essence of our organisation, including our pupose, values, operating principles, history and statement of faith.
Our purpose is to make Jesus Christ known through wholistic ministry, in partnership with the global church, amongst the neediest peoples of Asia and the Arab World.
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We are called to participate in God’s mission, the process by which God is reconciling the world to himself. Our Purpose Statement does not attempt to define God’s mission. Rather, it captures the enduring and distinctive commitment and contribution of Interserve to God’s mission. Make Jesus Christ known
Mission springs from the heart of the Triune God. By stating that we “make Jesus Christ known” we do not ignore the role of the Father and the Holy Spirit in mission. Whilst the Scriptures teach us that god has revealed himself through many and diverse ways, he has done so fully and uniquely in His Son, the Word become flesh. It is our privilege now to make his Son known in a broken and needy world. Reconciliation and new life are only possible through Jesus. Evangelism and discipleship is at the heart of our mission call.Through wholistic ministry
The Word-became-flesh revealed the Father by deed, word, symbol and sign. We are sent into the world in the same way. Therefore, mission involves the demonstration of the reality of the Kingdom of God in every sphere of life. An incarnational, integrated approach is at the heart of our mission call. In Partnership
We recognize that we play a part in how God is bringing about his mission. We do this in partnership with others. Interserve exists in order to encourage and facilitate churches and individuals to respond to God’s call to mission. Thus, we do not work alone as an organisation but together seek to determine where and how God purposes to use those who become part of Interserve. This requires of us attitudes of service and humility and a commitment to openness, sharing and vulnerability. With the Global Church
We rejoice in the reality of the global Church and recognize the global nature of the missions movement that has sprung from it. Drawn from the global church, we seek to be a fully international community.
Wherever we work, we do so in partnership with local and national churches when they exist. A commitment to the development of local churches and the facilitation of those churches into mission is at the heart of our mission call. Among the neediest peoples of Asia and the Arab World
Historically we have worked amongst the peoples of Asia and the Arabic-speaking world, wherever they are found. This continues to be our primary focus because it remains true that, in general, these communities have least opportunity to see and experience the reality of God’s Kingdom.
A commitment to “the neediest” is a reminder that we have limited resources. We choose to minister amongst the most spiritually, materially and socially impoverished.
We embrace a variety of Biblically-based Christian spiritual traditions. We welcome a rich diversity of cultures, providing opportunity for growth and learning. Gender inclusivity is very important to us. Women and men share in the full range of ministry and leadership roles.Integrity:
We strive for excellence and integrity in every aspect of our lives. We seek consistency between our public and private lives. We do our work as ministry, for the glory of God. We aim for transparency in leadership and communication.Humility:
We are in the process of being transformed into the likeness of Christ, learning and growing together. We respect and accept each other and those who we are called to serve. We do not seek recognition for ourselves or the name of Interserve.Relationship ...
We are a family, bound together by relationships of mutual accountability. We celebrate individuality whilst honouring the responsibilities of belonging to community. As a Fellowship, we are committed to pray, care for and respect one another. We are committed to excellent standards of support, pastoral care and personal development. Relationship provides the platform for leadership and decision-making.... Outward:
A commitment to relationship shapes the way we work. Where there is breakdown of relationships in society (individuals and communities) we pray and work for reconciliation.Service:
Our call is to enable others to experience the Kingdom of God and live as Jesus’ disciples. We do not seek our kingdom or our disciples. Leadership is exercised as service.
Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World is statement of recommendations for conduct in cross cultural ministry drafted by an ecumenical gathering of diverse Christian backgrounds. Interserve affirms the statement as representative of Interserve’s values and principles.
Prayer and Worship:
Prayer, worship, scripture and listening to God are the basis for ministry, growth, innovation and unity within the Fellowship.Wholistic:
Our ministries are whole and integrated. Proclamation, service and fellowship contribute together to our witness. We hold together different dimensions, such as word and action, personal life, professional skills and our contribution to building the church. Each of us combines these in different ways according to our situation, gifts and stages in our life and ministry.Flexibility:
We work to enable individuals to discover and use their call and gifts while ensuring that this is done in an appropriate way. We are open to new ideas, possibilities and ways of working. We are interested in working principles and open processes.Locally Led:
We practice devolved decision-making, enabling those affected by decisions to be involved in the process. We believe this allows us to be responsive to local needs, conditions and opportunities.Partnership:
We are committed to co-operation with others in reaching common goals through shared vision and values. Partnerships take place at every level within and with those outside the Fellowship. It defines our relationships with churches in both sending and receiving roles.Discipleship:
We aim to grow as disciples and enable others to do the same. Discipleship takes place in the context of relationship and community. Our desire is to enable individuals to fulfill God’s call, grow and use their gifts. Being discipled and discipling others is practiced intentionally.Participation:
Believing that all are made in the image of God, we practice participation in leadership, decision-making, strategic planning and pastoral care in all sectors of the Fellowship.Prioritizing the Marginal:
Many factors result in some people having less opportunity to experience the reality of God’s Kingdom rule. These include: geography, wealth, poverty, social status, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, urban or rural living. Our Fellowship emphasizes ministry amongst those most marginalized from the gospel of the Kingdom.
Interserve affirms the principles outlined in the Oslo Declaration on Missionary Activities and Human Rights: Recommended Ground Rules for Missionary Activities and under God we seek to abide by them. [Download the Oslo Declaration pdf 111k
Serving since 1852, in partnership with the global church
Interserve was founded by a group of visionary British women, in response to the needs of women in India who lived secluded in women’s quarters with no access to education, medical care, or the message of Christ. From its inception Interserve has put great emphasis on integration of word and deed wherever we serve. The Interserve Story1 March, 1852:
Calcutta Normal School opens, and with it begins Interserve's ministry. It was the joint vision of two young women, the wife of a British merchant in Calcutta, and the wife of a British banker and MP, Mary Kinnaird.In 1864
the British government in India declared that the Bible could be taught in government schools and that girls ought to receive education. A student of the Calcutta Normal School was hired as a paid teacher in a Zenana (a women's-only house) with the express understanding she was free to teach the Bible and share her Christian faith. So began the Zenana Bible Mission. Follow the story up until the present »
We believe that there is one God who has revealed himself to be three eternal persons whom we confess as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth and he so loves men and women that he sent Jesus Christ to save them from condemnation and eternal death. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became fully human and by his sacrificial death on the Cross and by his resurrection from the dead, provided the redemption which saves those who come to him in repentance and faith. The Holy Spirit continues Christ's work of convicting of sin and creating faith. He imparts unity amongst God's people and to them he gives power and love as well as gifts for different kinds of ministry.
We accept that all men and women are by nature spiritually unresponsive to God and are disobedient to God's will. Each person needs to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit in order to receive eternal life.
We acknowledge that the Church is God's instrument for mission and evangelisation. The local congregation in its worship, sacraments and fellowship, together with its evangelism and social care witnesses to the love and justice of God.
We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the uniquely inspired Word of God and is the only and wholly trustworthy test of faith and conduct.
We confess Jesus Christ to be the only Saviour and Lord and we affirm his deity, virgin birth, incarnation, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, ascension and personal return.
Commitment to this basis of faith does not mean a uniformity of belief that excludes different points of view on areas that are not part of this foundation statement. It is recognised that Partners come from churches of many denominations and emphases, but the points on which they differ are less important than those on which they are united. Each Partner is committed to the principle of Philippians. 2:5-8. Loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ demands repudiation of both heresy and schism. Thus Partners are committed to an attitude of servanthood as they join together in a Fellowship drawn from, and in ministry with, many denominations of the Christian Church.