From Every Nation (Chris Howles)
Mission Hits #24 (July 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)
(1) What do missionaries wish they had known?
Long-term Western missionaries around the world answer the question "What did you wish you knew before you deployed in overseas missionary service?" Some fascinating, funny, and very wise answers. Those involved in missionary training/formation would do well to ponder.
Acts 1:8 is a highly debated verse within mission studies. I enjoyed this contribution from missiologist Eddie Arthur, arguing that interdependency is an important but neglected aspect. "Where are the ends of the earth? It all depends on where you start from".
(3) Would Paul be considered a bad missionary today?
Would some of our contemporary churches withdraw funding from Barnabus and Paul for going too slowly, working too inefficiently, and turning away from the unreached? Provocative but important.
GENERAL (worth your time)
(1) Five characteristics of a good short-term missions team
This sort of thing needs to lie at the heart of much short-term mission training, preparation, and debrief. From ABWE (USA).
(2) An open letter to supporters of delayed missionaries
Many mission partners have had all sorts of issues in Covid times with moves, delays, and postponements. I enjoyed this thank you letter from a missionary to their gospel partners who have remained patient and persistent in their support, even when nothing obviously fruitful is currently resulting from it.
AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts, videos)
(1) How to love our Muslim neighbors well
Afshin Ziafat, Lead Pastor at Providence Church in Texas, gives a delightful 2-minute explanation of how a Christian lady loved and served him and his family when they arrived from Iran as a marginalised, unwelcomed family in America. This would be a brilliant introductory videos to help Christians in the West think through the opportunities God is currently presenting to us with international migrants in our communities.
(2) Great commission misconceptions
Steve Schirmer explains five misconceptions circulating within the body of Christ about missions and the great commission and how to move past them, in this 4-minute YouTube video.
(3) Rediscovering a clear, biblical vision for global missions
Matthew Ellison,(president of US missions coaching organization Sixteen:Fifteen) speaks about the importance of thinking biblically about missions and acting in accordance with God’s calling on our lives in this 40-min discussion hosted by the Global Missions podcast.
DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)
(1) Seminary 2.0 – cultural imperialism
Dr Scott Sunquist, President & Professor of Missiology at Gordon-Conwell, writes a blog post about how theological education needs to, and can, adapt in this rapidly changing era of world Christianity and cultural diversity in Western societies, churches, and seminaries. Those involves in theological education institutions in Western contexts would do well to read it.
(2) Are foreigners still needed in the age of indigenous mission?
A super article asking such an important question: "When recruiters ask what type of workers are needed, I now add: ‘People who deeply enjoy making others successful!’ Those who come with that passion fit well into the new mission paradigm."
(3) Mission-in-Movement: From culturally in between to bridge persons
As a native Korean, Enoch Jinsik Kim (associate professor of mission studies at Fuller) writes about the role of cultural 'inbetweeners' (like diaspora migrants) as 'bridge people' in outreach, reconciliation and community in our churches and societies.
BOOKS (best recent releases)
Links are to Amazon.co.uk for best info/reviews. Other outlets are available...
(1) Gospel Privilege: The Unearned Advantage That's Meant for Everyone (2021)
"Gospel privilege is the soul-saving, culture-shaping, world-changing message that’s come into the world through the Person of Jesus. It is an unearned spiritual advantage with eternal consequences meant for every human being.” [This book] provides the keys you need to unlock your full potential as an effective witness of this kingdom power. This resource will inspire change in you as you read testimony after testimony of people who use their gospel privilege to bring the kingdom message worldwide."
(2) Expository Preaching in Africa: Engaging Orality for Effective Proclamation (2021)
Ezekiel A. Ajibade
"…practical techniques for integrating African oral elements - such as myths, proverbs, folklore, dance, drama, poetry, and storytelling - into preaching that is both biblical and African. Alongside numerous examples and tools, Ajibade provides a rich overview of the nature of orality, the history and development of African preaching, and the reason biblical exposition must be central to gospel proclamation. This book is immediately applicable to practitioners, especially African preachers and those working in oral contexts."
(3) Refuge Reimagined: Biblical Kinship in Global Politics (2021)
Mark R. Glanville, Luke Glanville
"The global crisis of forced displacement is growing every year. At the same time, Western Christians' sympathy toward refugees is increasingly overshadowed by concerns about personal and national security, economics, and culture. We urgently need a perspective that understands both Scripture and current political realities and that can be applied at the levels of the church, the nation, and the globe. [This book} offers a new approach to compassion for displaced people: a biblical ethic of kinship ―a mutual responsibility and solidarity―to those who are marginalized and without a home."
MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)
All Nations college (UK) have just launched an MA in Staff Care and Wellbeing, aimed partly at enabling those who send or support cross-cultural workers to thrive in their roles. Available as a full-time (11 months), part-time (2 years) or online (3 years) course. Great idea.
(2) John Stott's impact in the world
The late, great Anglican evangelical British teacher/preacher/author/leader John Stott had a huge global impact on the shape of late 20th Century world Christianity. This podcast from Mark Meynell and Langham Partnership explores some of this in this series of podcasts interviewing those who were close to, and hugely influenced by, 'Uncle John'.
15 days of daily devotionals to use with kids/family prayer times during the 2021 Summer Olympics. Really fun way to help children learn about the world and God's work in it! Do send this to parents/carers who might be interested.
MISSIONS QUOTES (thought-provoking one-liners)
(1) “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
(2) “His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us leaves us no other choice.”
(3) "If God instantly answered all of your prayers from yesterday, how many new believers would there be in the Kingdom today?"
David W. Jones
AND FINALLY (unrelated but interesting!)
(1) Most popular websites over time
This YouTube moving infographic shows how the world's favourite internet sites have changed 1993-2020. A pertinent warning to all companies who think they're too big to fail!
(2) 4,000 years of World History
Created back in 1931, this is absolutely fascinating. No doubt some inaccuracies and of course it's largely subjective, but I suspect many of you would get as absorbed in this as I did.
(3) Time management won't save you
We're all too busy. But being more efficient is rarely the solution. The three implementable ideas in this article are obvious but important.
Full searchable archives of all Mission Hits resources from edition #1
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