Their Mission Statement
The Association was formed to identify, co-ordinate, network, support and link together City Missions around the world in order to extend the Kingdom of God by preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to meet human needs.
Their Association seeks to:
Strengthen, encourage and challenge established City Missions to fulfill their goals through better sharing with each other their expertise.
Help expand City Missions outreach to countries, which have emerging needs around the world.
To promote public awareness of the work of City Missions by: Communication, Triennial Conferences, Sister Missions, Partner Missions Programs and to promote the development of City Mission Associations.
The CMWA Executive Committee consists of representatives from: Australia, Germany, India, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Jesus said "I have come to preach the gospel to the poor, freedom to captives, to give sight to the blind, and free those that suffer" (Luke 4:18)
The City Mission Movement goes back to January 1826, when David Nasmith, founded the Glasgow (Scotland) City Mission. David Nasmith born in Glasgow Scotland in March 1799, commenced working in manufacturing as an apprentice. His vision was for an inter-denominational agency which would work alongside churches and other Christian agencies to provide for the spiritual and material welfare of those in need in Glasgow.
In July 1830 Nasmith sailed to New York and visited between 40 and 50 towns in the USA and Canada forming 31 missions including various benevolent institutions. David Nasmith also founded missions in France, the London City Mission, the London Female Mission, the Dublin Christian Mission and a number of other ministries. David Nasmith is the spiritual father of the city mission movement. He "died poor" at the young age of 40 on Christmas day 1839 at Guildford, Surrey, England, but the work of the missions lived on, and the spirit of his endeavours is increasing throughout the world today, thanks to the many committed people who have taken up the challenge for the poor and lost.
From these early beginnings the City Mission movement has spread to almost every continent of the world with the dual purpose of providing spiritual ministry and meeting human need to the most disadvantaged in whatever form necessary in the local community. This includes the poor, hungry, unemployed, sick, homeless, abused, socially disadvantaged, psychologically disturbed, intellectually impaired, drug and alcohol addicted people, in prison, aged, underprivileged, uneducated and minorities. The projects/programs provided range from spiritual, food, clothing, accommodation, education at all levels, living skills, spiritual counsel, agriculture, sustainable living, self-help programs, welfare/human services programs, health care, drug and alcohol programs, rehabilitation of offenders. There are many other areas in which missions work to make a difference in the lives of people worldwide. The services are provided with compassion and without discrimination
Many of the organisations have "City Mission"as part of their title whilst others use different titles such as "Gospel or Rescue Mission."
Mission Associations had been formed in some countries and continents but there was little sharing of information and fellowship on a worldwide basis. It was recognised there was a need to share the information and expertise which was available around the world to improve services and expand City Mission work. The first World Conference of City Missions, sponsored by the Sydney City Mission, was held in Sydney Australia from 1 to 5 October 1988. It was called "Mission 2000 -New Directions" and its aim was to share among the 130 delegates from different parts of the world, the wonderful opportunities that were opening to missions. The feeling of friendship was so strong among the delegates and so much value had been gained that they voted unanimously to meet to meet again three years later in Birmingham, England.
The conference was held in Birmingham, England from 26th to 30th October, 1991 and the 150 delegates voted, 147 to 3, to form the City Mission World Association (CMWA) The conference appointed an Executive Committee comprising Charles Chambers (Australia) Chairman, Edwin Orton (Britain), Raimo Sinkkonen (Finland), Stephen Burger (United States), Sam Thangarpulavar (India), Bruce Duncan (South Africa) and Paul Toaspern (East Germany) with Trish McDonald (Australia) as Company Secretary. They agreed the office should be set up in Sydney Australia and be formally registered.
The Executive Committee met in Berlin, Germany from 21st to 23rd April 1992. The committee drew up a proposal for the formalisation of the City Mission World Association with the Mission Statement "The Association is to link together city missions around the World in order to further the Kingdom of God by preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and by meeting human need."
The committee realised the most cost effective and efficient way to achieve its mission and to link together City Missions around the world was the development of Sister and Partner Missions Relationship Programs.
The Executive Committee also resolved to legalise the formation of the association and for the next triennial conference to be held in the United States of America from the 1st to the 5th November, 1994.
The Memorandum and Articles of Association of the City Mission World Association were drawn up and the Certificate of Registration was given under the seal of the Australian Securities Commission on the 1st of December, 1993.
Under the terms of the Articles of Association " any City Mission or person which subscribes to the objects of the Association is eligible to be a member of the Association. A City Mission for the purpose of membership is an incorporated Christian organisation or association which:
a) subscribes to the fundamental truths of the Bible.
b) targets its ministry at a city or urban population
c) combines evangelistic and caring (diaconia) ministry to those with human need due to suffering, distress, misfortune and/or helplessness.
A City Mission is automatically a member of the Association if it is a member of a City Mission Organisation which itself is a member of the City Mission World Association.
It is important to note that the City Mission World Association has no control of its members. The members remain totally independent. It was intended to be an organisation which provides the opportunity to network culturally, historically, to learn from, and assist each other, with a capacity for worldwide and regional conferencing.
The second Triennial Conference was held in Washington DC, USA in November 1994 with some 200 delegates from 95 missions located in twenty seven different nations of the world
The third Triennial Conference was held in Helsinki Finland from August 14 to 19 1997 with over 120 delegates from 21 countries attending.
The fourth Triennial Conference was held in Glasgow Scotland from 7 to 11 October 2000 when more than 220 inner-city mission workers from 19 countries gathered to learn to how more effectively they can meet the needs of the poor and homeless around the world.
Members of the Executive Committee have held meetings and visited missions in Berlin Germany, Helsinki Finland (twice), Tallinn Estonia, Bombay and Bangalore India, Mexico City Mexico, Glasgow Scotland, Sydney Australia, Cape Town South Africa and Denver USA. In addition members of the Executive Committee and staff from various missions have visited numerous missions and new works throughout the world.
In accordance with contemporary social welfare practice the objective of missions is not to keep their clients dependent upon handouts but to give them skills and the Christian environment to release them from their poverty, addiction or problems. For some people this is not achievable and long term support may be necessary.