From Every Nation (Chris Howles)
Mission Hits #28 (October 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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Before we start, please note that the latest edition of Mission Hits JOURNALS (#4: July-Sep 2021) is now out. Check it out here.
Links to all recent articles from 33 different Journals/Periodicals related to World Missions/World Christianity.
Particularly for those interested in a more academic mission studies. If you want to receive Mission Hits Journals (one email every 3-months) sign up here.
And now, on with Mission Hits #28...
ESSENTIALS (must reads)
(1) Top tips on preaching on mission from the whole Bible
Brief but so useful: "I believe that the whole of Scripture is the story of God’s missionary burden and of his willingness to work through people like us. Consequently, I agree to preach on any subject I am given, certain that it will not be difficult to find the missionary dimension there."
(2) 5 Things to expect your first year as a missionary
So much helpful advice here for those preparing to move cross-culturally for their first term of service. Do you know anyone in such a situation who would benefit from reading it?
(3) Measuring 'success' in missions
We must not tire of reminding ourselves of this: "Relying solely on needs-based motivation for missions threatens to squeeze the life out of the missionary and turn the Great Commission into a list of numbers on a spreadsheet. The fuel for faithful and enduring gospel proclamation is not the urgent need of man but the exceeding worthiness and glory of God."
GENERAL (worth your time)
(1) Beware the Idols of an Overseas Life
As ever, the 'A Life Overseas' blog picks up on tricky, controversial areas of missionary experience that many others won't touch! This time, asking if some missionaries have become too comfortable. "It’s very easy for the perks of living overseas to become idols. What is especially disturbing is that these idols are disguised as sacrifices–both to us and to those back at home. The missions narrative can allow us to live for ourselves while pretending that we are only about God’s kingdom. This should terrify us." Really recommend missionaries read this, and read it well.
(2) Short term mission teams that are sent well
Of the production of resources about short-term mission teams, there is truly no end. I could fill an entire Mission Hits once-a-month with that topic alone (memo to-self… !) But joking aside, it is of course important, and occasionally something appears with such good, practical advice, that I can't help but include it. This is one such article.
(3) Moving beyond multicultural church
Nice description of how one large evangelical church in UK have an 'Intercultural Worker' on staff to think through how the church can reflect and serve their culturally-diverse congregation and context. Read more about what she does and why.
AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts, videos)
(1) Parenting on the missions field
42-minute episode interviewing an experienced missionary couple about how to help younger and older children cope with the varied challenges they might face growing up in a missions family. I've listened to quite a few podcasts on this topic, and this one is particularly sensitive and sensible. Recommended for missionary families, and those supporting them pastorally.
28-minute podcast with Paul Akin interviewing Alex Garcia, a Brazilian believer sent by the US church as a missionary in England (London). I always find listening to majority world missionaries in the West illuminating "I decided to come and take a vision-trip, and the overall sense of lostness amazed me…we found ourselves falling in love with the city." We need to hear how outsiders from growing, dynamic churches see and describe us.
(3) A Theology of Mobilization
Dave Jacob converses with Ryan Shaw, the International Lead Facilitator of Global Mission Mobilization Initiative (GMMI) about mission mobilization, including 'How is God a mobilizer God?', 'Where does mobilization start in the Scriptures?', and 'How should this understanding of a theology of mobilization impact our mobilization praxis & strategies?'
DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)
(1) Mission leaders Conference 2021
5 plenary talks from last month's MissioNexus Leaders Conference on the theme of innovation in mission are free for all here. Members also get access to the many workshop recordings that took place too.
(2) Biblically faithful and culturally meaningful contextualization? Moving beyond the ethnohermeneutics debate
You need to give it your full concentration, but it's worth it. 20-minute presentation (audio) from Jackson Wu at the Southwestern regional meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS).
BOOKS (best recent releases)
Links are to Amazon for best info/reviews. Other outlets are available...
(1) Christian Tradition in Global Perspective (2021)
Roger P. Schroeder
"Schroeder tells the story of Christian tradition as much as possible from a non-Eurocentric/non-Western perspective, one that is inclusive of the roles and movements of "non-Western people," women, laity, and others who traditionally have been excluded from the written histories of Christianity. Christian Tradition in Global Perspective is uniquely suited for both students and teachers, as well as church leaders, in our globally connected world."
(2) Kwame Bediako: African Theology for a World Christianity (2021)
"Kwame Bediako was one of the great African theologians of his generation. Challenging the assumption that Christianity is a Western religion, he presented a non-Western foundation for theological reflection, expanded the Christian theological imagination, and offered a path forward for post-Christendom theologies. [This book]engages Bediako's central concerns with identity - specifically what it means to be African and Christian in the aftermath of the failures of colonialism. This book examines the gift of Bediako's work not just for Africa but for the world."
(3) Redemptive Kingdom Diversity: A Biblical Theology of the People of God (2021)
Jarvis J Williams
"[This book] explains that God’s people have always been intended to be a diverse community. Through Jesus, both Jew and gentile are reconciled to God and together make up a transformed people. Williams then applies his biblical and theological analysis to selected aspects of the current conversation about race, racism, and ethnicity, explaining what it means to be the church in today’s multiethnic context. He argues that the church should demonstrate redemptive kingdom diversity, for it has been transformed into a new community that is filled with many diverse ethnic communities."
MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)
(1) Kate & Mack and the great commission
This looks a fun addition to a growing field of resources aiming to make issues of global mission accessible and relevant to children. "In this adventure, travel with Kate, Mack and friends to Ghana. There, they travel back to biblical times and learn when global missions first began"
(2) Eight barriers to the gospel in the Middle East
This is beautifully presented, simple and easy to learn and digest, and very motivating for prayer. Would be perfect as a basis for a church prayer meeting for the Middle East.
(3) The life and times of a megachurch pastor
Korean megachurch pastor David Yonggi Cho (b. 1936), one of World Christianity’s most famous figures, passed away on September 14. This is a good, fair summary of his life and legacy: "Cho will certainly be remembered for his spiritual leadership and stature, but his legacy will always be complicated by a lopsided theology that invited the scourge of materialism and worldly gain."
MISSIONS QUOTES (thought-provoking one-liners)
(1) "God help me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am."
(2) "Persecution is good for people who love Jesus deeply. But it is not good for the people who love Jesus just a little bit.”
A persecuted pastor in China (H/T @justindlong)
(3) "The local church is not some speed bump to work around for the sake of fulfilling the great commission but rather is the God-ordained, Spirit-filled, Jesus'-blood-purchased, living organism through which God will fulfill his redemptive plan."
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… (The most popular links from the last Mission Hits…)
(1) Dismantling the Ethnic Foods Aisle in Christianity
(2) Things Western Christians Need To Know: The Church Was Always International
(3) 10 Traps & Distractions that Keep Us from Full Impact in God’s Global Purposes
AND FINALLY (unrelated but interesting!)
(1) How good are you at recognizing languages?
Suspect this will appeal to MANY of you! Listen to a few seconds of someone speaking, and then try to identify the language. The 'easy' version is too easy, but try 'hard' or above and it starts getting fascinating and infuriatingly tricky!
Oh how I wish this program existed for the whole world. Pick any spot in the US and watch a Google Earth video of how a raindrop will make its way from there to the ocean.
Stanford University neurosurgical resident Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic lung cancer aged 36. In his two remaining years (2013-2015) he continued his medical training, became the father to a baby girl, and wrote beautifully about his experiences. This 1,000 word essay considers the relationship between time, health, and purpose. It's quite something.
Full searchable archives of all Mission Hits resources from edition #1
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