OMF UK’s week-long July Home Assignment Workshop – which aims to help OMF workers make the most of their time back in the UK with supporters – is now set to take place virtually. Pray for the planning of this and solutions that are good for both participants and presenters. Please lift up to the Lord the speakers for the week who will be preaching and seeking to encourage participants. Ask the Father to guide their preparation and speaking during the week.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
— Psalm 18:2
Pray for OMF UK families facing uncertainty around the next steps for their children – whether it be the return or start of school, or going to university. May they know the Lord’s peace that passes understanding and learn to trust him more in these days.
Pray for OMF UK workers and their families across East Asia who find themselves unexpectedly home-schooling over many weeks. Ask the Lord to grant them energy for each day, wisdom for parents to know how to keep children engaged and for good separation of “school” and “family” times.
Give thanks for OMF UK Area Ministry Teams who volunteer to support candidate processing and OMF workers on home assignment. They have been doing great work continuing this support at this time. Pray for continued energy, creativity and wisdom in these tasks.
Please pray for OMF UK candidates whose studies at Bible colleges have been disrupted due to the lockdown. Give thanks that many of them have been able to continue their studies remotely, but pray the challenges this creates will be minimised as much as possible.
The United Kingdom (UK) consists of England, Wales, Scotland (which make up Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. Out of a population of about 65 million people, the English make up more than 80%; the Scots nearly 10%; and the Welsh and Northern Irish most of the rest. The UK is also home to diverse immigrant communities, mainly from its former colonies in the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Africa. East Asians form only about 1-2%.
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the second largest economy in Europe after Germany. The UK was an active member of the European Union (EU) from 1973 to 2016; but on 23 June 2016, it voted to leave the EU. The effect of “Brexit” on the UK economy is uncertain, with question marks hanging over possible future tariffs and investment. Net migration has already fallen.
There are an estimated 1.8 million church-going evangelicals in the UK (about 3% of the total population). Evangelicals in the UK overall are declining, but are reducing at only about half the rate of non-Evangelicals. As a result, by 2020, an estimated 46% of all church goers in the UK will be evangelical. Decline in many churches is largely due to the absence of young people. The average age of Christians in the UK is 45 against an overall population average of 40.
Against this overall decline, new shoots of growth are emerging, particularly among churches identified as New Churches, Pentecostals, the Orthodox and other small denominations. Growth is especially strong in Black Pentecostal churches, which are estimated to make up 23% of all church goers by 2020.
These trends mean that organisations like OMF face a decline in their traditional constituency of supporting and sending churches. Also, churches are engaging in cross-cultural mission in a greater variety of ways, and not necessarily through mission agencies.
OMF UK’s vision is to put local churches in the UK at the heart of OMF’s mission, focusing resources on empowering churches to engage in world mission, with special attention on East Asia’s unreached peoples. Our relationship with churches continues to evolve, with a strong focus on partnering with them in mission engagement.
- Total: 65.6 million
- Anglo Saxon/Celtic: 85.2%
- Asian: 6.3%
- European: 3.3%
- Middle Eastern: 1.9%
- Afro Caribbean: 1.4%
- Christian: 59.66%
- Non religious: 34.49%
- Muslim: 3.2%
- Hindu: 0.94%
- Sikh: 0.63%
- from Operation Word 7th edition, p.624
Thank you, God, for the churches and individuals who have given their prayer, care, and support to missionaries from the UK. Please equip churches to fully support their mission partners in prayer, finances, care, and practical help. We also ask that you would raise up people to help support and care for missionaries.