Grace Missions is God’s Missions

An Interview with Rev. Dr. David Lim, by Alvin Tan


What is missions really about?

Ps. David Lim and Mrs. May Lim

That was the question I had in mind, as I spoke to the former Senior Pastor of Grace Assembly of God — Ps. David Lim. 

As a missionary himself, Ps. David helped to shape his vision for missions in Grace Assembly, which aimed to be sustainable and humble. “Don’t reinvent the wheel,” he emphasised, noting that it is more effective to use existing structures and provide complementary support, rather than attempt to reproduce Grace in an entirely different context and culture. “We can’t go in like we’re the great saviours.”

Missions as an Evolving Art Form

A major focus of Grace Missions has been on training missions partners and local ministers. This helps to equip ministers with relevant skills in leadership, organisation, managing relationships, and handling the Bible, before sending them back to their own cultures to serve effectively. Such training is crucial particularly because there may not even be such materials in other languages. Ps. David noted that this training was initially achieved by bringing church planters in to attend the School of Missions; later, this was moved into regional training hubs, which would attract more attendees due to lower costs. The hubs also served as a form of accountability, and a way for Grace Missions to continue to be invested in the lives of these ministers.

The approach to missions has continued to evolve in the years since, driven particularly by increasing restrictions and persecution in some countries, as well as the vicissitudes of the world, as we have experienced in the pandemic. Ps. David suggested that there is an increasing need for creative approaches to reach and teach, such as business people who can enter other countries by way of their work, and who can then minister to locals. He also mentioned that the advent of video conferencing technologies also meant that he can hold seminars with ministers from all over the world without experiencing jet lag — but nonetheless he longs for the day when churches across countries can gather again. “Until then,” he said, “we have to, as a church, be flexible and insightful about using tools to be effective.”

The Unshakeable Truth

Ps. David with Vietnam AG Executive with Ps. Mantiri and Jakarta congregation.

However, the core of missions has not changed at all — that the whole Church is called to make disciples of all nations. Having a church that is educated and passionate about missions was critical for Ps David, and he exhorted the church to never forget its great mission, trusting that the Lord of the harvest is in charge in spite of everything that we think might hinder the spread of the Gospel. This unshakeable truth means that we can keep at the vision, that we can keep God’s will foremost on our minds, and that we can keep praying for the nations and people, knowing that there is spiritual warfare but that our God is already victorious. This is what missions is: it is God’s mission.

Ps. David hopes that every Gracian knows that this vision and calling has not changed. “Missions is at the heart of Grace, both locally and abroad. That defines who we are.” So even as the world may change, may we take heart in the God who is unchanging, and join in His mission that too is unchanging.


Rev. Dr. David Lim has seen Grace Missions grow over two decades, serving as Senior Pastor and then Honorary Pastor at Grace Assembly of God. As a missionary in the Philippines and then as Senior Pastor at Grace Assembly in Singapore, he had the dual perspectives of being one who was sent, and one who sends.

< Stepping up                   Next: A Place in My Heart >