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  • Writer's pictureFrom Every Nation (Chris Howles)

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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ESSENTIALS (must reads)

(1) Three things the (British) Church needs to know about world mission

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.

(2) Seven ways we secretly rank each other

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.

(3) The mission field in our own backyard

"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)

(1) We're all poor

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.

(2) Five ways to ruin a relationship with your Hindu friend

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…)

(3) What does my church's health have to do with reaching the unreached?

David Burnette writes for 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)

(1) Preparation and the missionary task

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).

(2) Growth through adversity in Sri Lanka

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.

(3) Descriptive or prescriptive: The role of Acts in missions

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)

(1) Pastors as missiologists…

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…

(2) Urbanization and measuring the remaining task

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.

(3) Proof that political privilege Is harmful for Christianity

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)

(1) Demonology for the Global Church: A Biblical Approach in a Multicultural Age (2021)

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."

(2) The Art of Contextual Theology: Doing Theology in the Era of World Christianity (2021)

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)."

(3) Beyond Poverty: Multiplying Sustainable Community Development (2021)

Terry Dalrymple

"[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)

(1) Church websites - missions sections

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.

(2) Making video updates for support partners

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."

William Carey

(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."

David Bosch

(3) "If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small."

Pat Morley


AND FINALLY (unrelated but interesting!)

(1) Fifteen years forsaken: A true castaway story…

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…

(2) The most viewed Wikipedia pages over time

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.

(3) A day in the life

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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