Welcome to Mission Hits, a twice-monthly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world Christianity, world church, and world mission.
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PLEASE PASS ON TO INTERESTED FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES & CHURCH MEMBERS
ESSENTIALS (must reads)
Matthew Skirton, Operation Mobilisation UK chief executive, writes honestly about UK cross-cultural missionary-sending in light of Covid-19 and other trends: "the urgency to go out and reach the 2.1 billion people in our world with no Gospel witness…has significantly dwindled". It's honest, even downcast, but also reflective and challenging - I appreciated it
I was moved by the voices of the (now grown-up) 'missionary-kids' in this article. It's worth a read for cross-cultural missionaries with kids, and also those involved in sending/supporting such missionary families. From The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (US)
Anyone involved in church partnerships with missionaries would benefit from reading this short Crosslinks article from a church leader about how they bless, and benefit from, relationships with cross-cultural missionaries.
GENERAL (worth your time)
“When we notice that God is working through diasporas, we are more open to leaving our ethnocentric enclaves. We are more open to collaborating with diaspora peoples and championing multiethnic ministry.” Aaron Jameson on the Training Leaders International blog.
"Serving cross-culturally helped me realize that though God invites me to be part of his monstrous task, it doesn’t depend on me" We all know this in our heads, but I wonder if it's always making a difference in our hearts. …
John Root has fifty years of experience ministering in multi-ethnic communities in London. He writes here about the role of exorcism in his parish ministry and concludes that (1) Those who are positive about exorcism need to be cautious, and (2) Those who are cautious about exorcism need to be more positive.
AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts, videos)
I greatly enjoyed this 44-min podcast discussion between Eddie Arthur and Harvey Kwiyani. “[multiculturality] gives Christianity a different flavour. It allows you to see the stranger not as a threat, but as God’s gift to you, because the strange brings you something you don’t have"…“The future of the faith is multicultural. We don’t have a choice. It’s not something we can opt out of. Let’s figure out how to make it work.”
55-min podcast interview (in two parts). Dr. Elizabeth Mburu (associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Pan-Africa Christian University, Nairobi) discuss how Africa is defining global Christianity for the future, and what unique gifts the African church can offer the global church.
How encouraging to hear a mature Iranian brother speak so whole heartedly about his testimony and the joy of witnessing to Farsi-speaking immigrants and local Swedes in Sweden! 5-min video hosted by Steve Schirmer, President, Silk Road Catalyst.
DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)
Mission Hits Journals #2 is now out! Links to journal/periodical articles related to world Christianity and world mission, from January to March 2021. Get informed, inspired, and thoroughly up-to-date with contemporary missiological trends and ideas so that don't miss out on anything relevant to you. Sign up to receive these by email each quarter.
There is nothing explicitly relevant to world mission or world church in this secular TED talk, but geopolitical forces inevitably shape both , and the wise missiologist keeps her eye on such things. This 13-min presentation (video and transcript available) is a fascinating description of how the world is reshaping, aligning, and reforming: "Globalization is on its deathbed. It's run into the limitations of its own success…the new world order will be defined by rival, distinct and different ways of doing things, and ultimately collaboration based on values".
JD Payne is professor of Christian Ministry at Samford University. I enjoyed his (11-page PDF) March 2021 Evangelical Missiological Society (US) address concerning the debate within missiology over the value, history, and meaning of the word 'mission' itself.
BOOKS (best recent releases)
Dr Andy Bannister
"Far from being the same, Islam and Christianity are profoundly different. Get to the heart of what the world's two largest religions say about life's biggest questions-and discover the uniqueness of Christianity's answer to the question of who God really is"
Rachel Pieh Jones
You'll find the title inspiring/intriguing/controversial/troubling/problematic (delete as appropriate): "Jones recounts…the personal encounters and growing friendships that gradually dismantle her unspoken fears and prejudices and deepen her appreciation for Islam. Jones shows how her Muslim friends’ devotion...leads her to rediscover ancient Christian practices her own religious tradition has lost or neglected."
Derwin L. Gray
"In a time when too many pastors and too many churches are content to minister among those who look like them, we need leaders with gospel courage and a biblical insight to call us out of monochromatic apathy. Read this and be energized to see the kingdom of Christ in all its vivid diversity" (From Dr Russell Moore endorsement)
MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)
I'm sure there'll be no end of such surveys coming out in the years to come, but this is the first I've seen. Christianity Today magazine article about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected people's faith in Western countries. "leading the pack in strengthened faith: the United States. Leading the pack in weakened faith: South Korea."
Pray for Muslims each day during Ramadan (April 12-May 12, 2021). Resources from Prayercast, (including many videos) to help you pray for Muslims.
MISSIONS QUOTES (thought-provoking one-liners)
(1) "To set word and deed, preaching and action against each other is absurd. Word and deed mutually reinforce and interpret one another. The words explain the deeds, and the deeds validate the words."
(2) “You have been speaking about William Carey. When I am gone, say nothing about William Carey; speak only about William Carey’s Savior.”
(3) "Functional universalism: You don't think everyone is going to heaven, but you act like everyone is going to heaven."
AND FINALLY (unrelated but interesting!)
Have you EVER seen anything like this before? 2-min video of an extraordinary natural phenomenon in Nepal. Watch it right to the end.
Turns out it's rather hard to steer a big ship through the Suez Canal! Fantastic little game. But don't blame me if get no work done today…
Maps are made, not given. Our 'classic' world map is drawn from a certain perspective. Here's a world map that is just as true, but looks nothing like what we would recognise!
Questions, comments, or suggestions for the next edition?
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