• From Every Nation (Chris Howles)

Mission Hits #1 (July 2020)


Welcome to Mission Hits, a fortnightly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world Christianity, world church, and world mission.


Mission Hits is a ministry of www.fromeverynation.net

For questions, comments, or suggestions, email chris.howles@fromeverynation.net

To receive each fortnightly posting by email, go to www.fromeverynation.net/mission-hits


(1) General, (2) Video/Audio, (3) Digging deeper, and (4) Books.


GENERAL

(1) The Most Diverse Movement in History

"We must abandon this absurd idea that Christianity is a Western religion." Article from Christianity Today magazine about Christianity's multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic nature. I especially enjoyed this part beginning "It is a common misconception that Christianity first came to Africa via white missionaries in the colonial era..."


(2) The church should not be homogenised

"The temptation is to say that we need to be colour blind, we need to treat everyone the same..." British theological-research Eddie Arthur argues that we should not treat everyone as if they are the same, or we lose the joy of cultural diversity in our churches.

(3) How many missionaries are there in the world today

Stats such as these are notoriously hard to get right (he explains why) but American researcher Justin Long has a look at the evidence and says there are approx. 425,000 missionaries in the world today. Just 3% are working with unreached peoples (I am, of course, one of the 97%).

(4) Kenyan worship in lockdown

You have to enjoy this. The Guardian reports on Kenyans coming out onto their apartment balconies to join in a corporate worship service. Just imagining this in the UK...


(5) Searching for a Jesus who looks more like me

"As it turns out, at about that time, “God” as depicted in the form of Jesus Christ was beginning to look more and more like me. Only I didn’t know it." This New York Times article captures some of the different viewpoints involved in the issue of how we represent Jesus worldwide. Really interesting.


Related to that, these are my personal favourite representations of events from the life of Jesus: The Cameroonian 'Mafa' series of paintings...


And one more quickly - a photographer who dressed up people of many different ethnicities as Bible characters. Fascinating and beautiful.


(6) The Pandemic Lockdown Is a Godsend for the Indian Church

Christianity Today article: "Because of this opposition, there has been a prayer movement that resulted in great unity among the national Christian community. Churches have begun to overlook their historical denominational divisions, bringing the Indian church to the cusp of revival"


(7) Christian reading from majority world authors

"Pastors, leaders and thinkers outside the Majority World need to grow some gurus from within the Majority World. It will be so good for them." Paul Windsor, Director of Langham Preaching, suggests why Western Christians should read books from outside their own cultures, and gives some great suggestions on where to start...


(8) 500 years of Protestantism

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (based at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, US) has produced a simple and fascinating two-page report of graphs and diagrams illustrating the make-up of world Protestant faith today. Absolutely fascinating, and a fun way of stepping out of our own bubbles and seeing the bigger global picture.



VIDEO/AUDIO


(1) Christians from 50-countries sing 'Amazing Grace'

4 minute Youtube video of Christians from 50 different countries which are all "affected by Covid-19" (which countries aren't?!) singing Amazing Grace together. Of course it's cheesy, but it also powerfully illustrates the ethnic diversity of Christianity, united in God's amazing grace.


Along similar lines, GAFCON (an Anglican movement) has produced a 2-minute video of Christians around the world reciting the Nicene Creed (although all in English, which somewhat dilutes the point they're making). Again, a powerful illustration of Christian cultural diversity.

(2) Missionaries Communicating back Home in Today's World

A 40-min podcast from American ministry 'Upstream Collective' for missionaries wanting to think hard about how they communicate with partners in their sending churches. Some great advice on effective use of social media.


(3) Martyrdom on a Mission

Do you remember John Chau, the missionary killed in 2018 as he landed on North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean? I recall him receiving a lot of 'bad press' at the time, and not just from secular news organizations but within Christian circles too. This 25-minute conversation is a helpful look at his story as the Western church thinks through risk and martyrdom in missions today.


(4) Trends in Global Missions

A 30 minute podcast from 2019. Marvin Newell speaking about some 'mega-trends' in Global Missions (although I'd say 'Western Missions movement' is more accurate here), including digital missionaries and mission congestion.



DIGGING DEEPER


(1) July 2020 issue of 'Studies in World Christianity' Journal

Articles include 'Korean Christian Students' Adaptation and Integration in British Society' and 'Transcultural Insights into the Christian Conversion of British Gujarati Hindus'.


(2) Jan-April 2020 issue of 'Round Table' - OMF Journal for Reflective Practitioners

Looks like there's some good content here. I'll certainly be coming back to Karl Dahlfred's article 'The Sinner’s Prayer in Animistic Cultures: Problems and Solutions'.

(3) Partnering with the Emerging Chinese Missions Movement

Brent Fulton gives a warning relevant to all those interested in or working with mission movements outside their own Western contexts: "Those partnering with China’s emerging missions movement would do well to consider what they may be passing on without even realizing it. Careful filtering of concepts and methods—but more importantly, values and unspoken assumptions—could help guard China’s future mission leaders from replicating painful mistakes."



BOOKS


(1) The Mission of Apolo Kivebulaya (Emma Wild-Wood)

Apolo Kivebulaya was an ordained Ugandan Anglican evangelist known as the "apostle to the pygmies" for his pioneer missionary work among the Bambuti people of eastern Congo during the early 20th century.


(2) Refugee Diaspora: Missions Amid the Greatest Humanitarian Crisis of the World (George and Adeney)

From the blurb: "A contemporary account of the global refugee situation and how the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ is shining brightly in the darkest corners of the greatest crisis on our planet...It includes biblical, theological and practical reflections on mission in diverse diaspora contexts from leading scholars as well as practitioners in all major regions of the world'.

Mission hits is a ministry of www.fromeverynation.net

For questions, comments, or suggestions for the next edition, email chris.howles@fromeverynation.net


Please note that I choose links to resources I find stimulating and/or significant. Posting a link does not mean I personally agree with everything there!

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