Mission Hits #21 (June 2021)
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)
Three such familiar points to those of us involved in the world of global mission, and yet imagine the implications if all UK/Western churches and church leaders were gripped by these crucial contemporary realities.
Why would besetting sins of jealousy, insecurity, and pride not also manifest themselves within mission agencies, mission teams and missionary friendships too? How do missionaries rank and judge each other? I'd suggest all missionaries would do well to read and ponder this post from the ever-excellent 'A life overseas' blog.
"Taking the gospel to the ends of the earth has never been simply about God’s people going from here to there; it’s also been about ministering to those who’ve come from there to here." This Gospel Coalition clearly spells out how migration and diaspora were foundational to early church mission in Acts, and should be today too.
GENERAL (worth your time)
Those who have read the book 'When Helping Hurts' will be very familiar with the contents of this article by one of the authors, Brian Fikkert. But if you haven't, this is a great summary of one of the main themes of that book, namely that we need a definition of poverty that recognises we are all poor, and then allow that definition to shape how we approach 'poverty-relief' efforts.
Some practical and memorable tips (with examples) in this interesting and readable article from Marg Network. Seems a shame to title it in the negative like this when it could so easily be reversed (Five ways to deepen…)
David Burnette writes for radical.net arguing that although the church does not need perfection in every area before engaging in global outreach, the church’s health is relevant to its disciple-making efforts among the unreached.
AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts, videos)
Video, and audio (podcast available too) of David Platt interviewing President of Radius International Brooks Buser at the Cross event 2020. I thought this was a genuinely interesting description of a Western missionary family moving to, and living in, a remote unreached community (in Papua New Guinea).
Chris Wright interviews Sri Lankan 'Youth for Christ' leader and global speaker author Ajith Fernando in this 50-min podcast about the church in Sri Lanka, the importance of discipleship, and the growth of world Christianity.
The Coworkers Podcast looks at this important question through the three Interpretative principles of recurrence, coherence, and transference in this 28min podcast.
DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)
How missiology benefits pastoral ministry. Not convinced all missiology is as noble as presented here, but a helpful reminder that pastoralia and missiology should never diverge too far…
The term 'unreached people groups' produce a lot of friction. I've always appreciated Justin Long's writings on the topic. In this post, he explains why global urbanization needs to be carefully integrated into the concept of UPGs.
Of course it's a debated and controversial topic. And this Christianity Today article has not been without some criticism. But it's well worth reading and considering carefully… "Our analysis of 166 nations suggests the biggest threat to Christian vitality is not persecution, affluence, education, or pluralism. It’s state support."
BOOKS (best recent releases)
Scott D. MacDonald
"Christian communities are in desperate need of a biblical understanding of the demonic that transcends cultural frameworks - an understanding that will challenge assumptions, rebuke errors, and unite Christians in scriptural truth. [This book] endeavors to provide the biblical and theological essentials for a unified Christian perspective of the demonic, framings a biblical demonology in light of global and contextual concerns."
Victor I. Ezigbo
"Christianity has an inherent capability to assume, as its novel mode of expression, the local idioms, customs, and thought forms of a new cultural frontier that it encounters…This book engages the main genres of contextual theology, explores echoes of contextual theological thinking in some of Jesus’s sayings, and discusses insights into contextual theology that can be discerned in the discourses on theology and caste relations (Dalit theology), theology and primal cultures (African theology), and theology and poverty (Latin American liberation theology)."
"[This book] calls us to move beyond sustainable projects in a single village to transformational movements that multiply change from village to village and sweep the countryside. Through multiple case studies based on the actual experiences of more than 900 organizations in 135 different countries, this book tells the story of a large and growing network of ministries around the world using the strategy of Community Health Evangelism to change the life of the poor forever."
MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)
This might be of interest for those who wish to see their church website better inform and engage visitors about their missions programs. Four church website sections on mission are analysed according to their strengths and weaknesses, with 10 concluding suggestions.
Some helpful tips for those in ministry and mission who want to use video updates to connect more personally and effectively with supporters.
MISSIONS QUOTES (thought-provoking one-liners)
(1) "To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map."
(2) "To participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God's love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love."
(3) "If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small."
AND FINALLY (unrelated but interesting!)
I cannot recall reading a story as gripping, disturbing, and awe-inspiring as this. Mind-boggling and mind-blowing. I'm not even going to give details. It's a long story, but I challenge anyone to get to the end and think that wasn't worth it. It really should be a movie…
An infographic video showing the most read Wikipedia articles in total from 2007-2019. Fascinating to see what was in fashion and how it changes over time.
Found myself getting immensely absorbed in this series of 15-min YouTube videos showing the day in the life (waking up until bedtime), of normal Japanese workers. This one links to a delivery worker, but there's loads in the series. Wouldn't it be absolutely amazing to have 10 of these videos for every country in the world?
Full searchable archives of all Mission Hits resources from edition #1
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