Mission Hits #4 (August 2020)
Welcome to Mission Hits, a fortnightly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world Christianity, world church, and world mission.
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(1) General, (2) Video/Audio, (3) Digging deeper, and (4) Books.
This is an expanded article from one written over 20 years ago by Robertson McQuilkin. I include it here as it's powerfully written and the issues haven't much changed since then. Some will agree, some will disagree, but it's important to engage in the question of whether Global North churches should be sending money to Global South churches as well as, or even instead of, missionaries: "Sharing financial resources in a way that is spiritually empowering and Great Commission-completing for both donor and recipient remains our greatest unsolved problem".
It's a key question - what sort of contexts should Western churches be focussing their world missions efforts on? This short article is a launchpad to start pondering the issue: "With all the spiritual and physical needs in the world today, local churches are left to wonder where to even begin to engage… It can be incredibly difficult to determine where to focus their mission efforts. And there is often a dichotomy—a false dichotomy—in our approach"
European readers will need to translate a little bit as it's written very specifically for the North American church, but this article may prompt Christian leaders to come up with creative ways to ensure that our worldwide focus doesn't reduce during this pandemic.
"Finally, one of the men leaned across the table toward me and said forcefully, 'You want to know why we love him? We love him because he borrows money from us!'" Really helpful article by Nik Ripken on the necessity of vulnerability for Western missionaries working cross-culturally. As always with these sorts of articles though, there's also some very valuable lessons for Western Christians living in multicultural contexts in their home countries.
Beautifully designed and very informative. I enjoyed "Gospel lens can fix our cultural blindness" about how to lead a genuinely intercultural church. Helpful stuff too on church response to human trafficking in the age of Covid.
What a fabulous idea. SIM UK are starting monthly prayer email from missionary kids for other kids "designed to open the eyes of primary school aged children to the gospel needs around the world and encourage a heart for prayer" If someone has thought of this before, I haven't seen it. Sign up!
A 45 minute interview about missional responses to the disastrous explosion of August 4th: "Pierre Rashad Houssney is Middle East and North Africa Regional Director for Horizons International, based in Beirut, and is a Lebanese-American who grew up in the context of cross-cultural ministry among Muslims and international students. This week, we ask Pierre the question many missions-minded believers are asking: what happened in Beirut, and what does it mean for the cause of the gospel?"
35-minute video interview with Northern Irishman Andrew Scott, President and CEO of Operation Mobilization, where he explains the idea of 'Scatter Global', a vision of equipping and sending out professionals to work and live missionally in different global contexts. Of course such vocational movements have been used missionally by God since the start, but Western mission agencies appears to be waking up to the importance of such movements in a world that is becoming increasingly resistant to 'traditional' missionaries
Wanjiru M Gitau with a neat summary of the life, times, and extremely significant impact of the late Gambian Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale Divinity School, Lamin Sanneh.
The July 2020 edition of the Lausanne Global Analysis, including articles on 'Connecting Brazil's Youth with God's Global Mission' and 'Mobile Missions Mentoring in the Covid-19 Era'
Edwin David Arthur
British missiologist Eddie Arthur has edited his PhD thesis into a book, and it looks to be essential reading for anyone involved with or interested in UK missions. Peter Rowan (Co-National Director, OMF UK) writes: "This volume will prove indispensable for anyone concerned with the future effectiveness of the British mission agency as a vehicle for the UK church’s involvement in world mission... Eddie Arthur paves the way for readers to reflect more broadly about the nature of mission and the future of the western mission movement".
Michael W. Goheen, Jim Mullins
I'll be picking this up - I've always enjoyed Goheen's work. "Just like different instruments of a symphony harmonize together, each aspect of human participation in mission--evangelism, justice initiatives, poverty alleviation, faithful work in the marketplace --helps us play our part in God's work in the world. Combining expertise from a mission scholar [Michael Goheen] and a working pastor [Jim Mullins], the book includes practical examples and tools to help readers imagine their part in God's mission."
Matthew D Kim, Daniel L Wong
This looks an interesting book, not least as it's an example of what is increasingly needed in Europe too - help with preaching to different cultures in our local settings full of diaspora believers. There's a helpful, thorough review of it here by Alexander Chow - From the book's blurb: "Finding Our Voice speaks clearly to an issue that has largely been ignored: preaching to Asian North American (ANA) contexts…[this book] is essential reading for all who preach and teach in ANA contexts. But by examining this kind of contextualization in action, all who preach in their own unique contexts will benefit from this approach."
"Drawing on decades of engagement in Africa, Colin Bearup has compiled a thoughtful collection of questions, insights, and narratives to guide the reader into a deeper appreciation for the nuances of African Islamic worldviews. A winsome and practical book of hard-won wisdom, Clues to Africa, Islam, and the Gospel is destined to become a go-to resource for those working on the continent."
E.J Martin (editor)
"The first part of Where There Was No Church brings together stories that show what God is doing through his people among Muslims. The second part of the book contains discussion questions to guide leaders in discussions about the narratives. If you work in the Muslim world or are interested in doing so in the future, you will find this to be an excellent resource."
Mission hits is a ministry of www.fromeverynation.net
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Please note that I choose links to resources I find stimulating and/or significant. Posting a link does not mean I personally agree with everything there!