From Every Nation (Chris Howles)
Mission Hits #40 (August 2022)
Welcome to Mission Hits, a monthly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world mission and world Christianity.
To receive each posting by email, sign up here
Welcome to Mission Hits #40 (!!)
Well well, how did that happen? FORTY editions of Mission Hits already! It's evolved from a simple twice-monthly list of 10 or so things that caught my eye into what you can see below, a monthly posting carefully categorised and archived.
Thank you to those who subscribe, and a particularly massive thank you to those who have written to express their appreciation - they help greatly when the days sometimes seem too short for this!
I pray that this 40th edition is inspiring and illuminating for you. As ever, it remains a privilege to do it for our growing Mission Hits community of mission-minded folk worldwide!
If you know anyone who might find this a useful resource, then please do pass this on and encourage them to sign up. As always, please feel free to send me any feedback (email@example.com).
Head of Theology serving at Uganda Martyrs Seminary Namugongo.
Doctorate in Intercultural Theology (Fuller Theological Seminary)
Mission Partner: Crosslinks (UK)
ESSENTIALS (if you only have time for one...)
Essential for Missionaries
A healthy home assignment with TCKs
26 bullet points, each one containing valuable advice for missionary parents as they prepare for that always-difficult home assignment back in their passport country with kids. This advice is also useful for those involved in missionary care. From Rosalind Brown at UFM Worldwide.
Essential for Church Leaders
The Training that matters most
There's no shortage of such articles out there, but it's such an important topic it bears repeating: Why and how the local church is the best context for identifying and training cross-cultural mission workers. By Caleb Greggsen for the Reaching & Teaching blog.
Essential for Mission Agency Workers
Leveraging your missions funds most effectively in a small church
I put this article here in the agencies workers section because agencies are well-placed to assist churches think positively and practically about missions support on a limited budget. So how can small churches best use non-mega budgets in effective ways? By Bradley Bell at the Upstream Collective.
Essential for Christians Partnering as Senders
Guidelines for designing attractive missions leadership roles
Good suggestions for those involved in church mission committees. We all know recruiting, equipping, and sustaining people for such roles can be tough. Here are seven guidelines from Catalyst Services for designing attractive missions leadership roles to build a more vibrant and visionary missions leadership structure in the local church.
GENERAL (well worth your time)
(1) You can’t cross the ocean on an iPad
The pandemic has taught us that screens are inadequate for building/sustaining strong relationships. Overseas missionaries knew that already. Maintaining relationships with family and friends across continents is hard, and this blogpost from 'A Life Overseas' is raw, honest, moving, and helpful.
(2) How to care for your refugee neighbors
Five short, simple tips from an Afghan refugee in the US to help churches welcome and serve refugees in their midst: "When refugees move into our countries and communities, God is providing an incredible opportunity for Christians. It’s time for us to leave the couch, knock on their doors, and get to know them."
(3) How the Gospel compels us to frontier missions
"When we think about the gospel and the Great Commission, it’s all about coming and going. Come is the invitation. Go is the imperative. Both were given by Jesus and both demand a response from the ones to whom he was speaking." A short devotional blog post from Bobby Hile (ABWE) on how Jesus simultaneously draws us in and sends us out.
AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts, videos)
(1) Why our definition of ‘people group’ is outdated
"Globalization has made the world smaller. Is the ethnolinguistic people group definition itself outdated?" Missiologist Dr. Michael Crane unpacks the implications of what he calls “glurbanization” in this 40-min conversation on 'The Missions Podcast'. This is an informative and important conversation.
(2) World mission with Eddie Arthur
How should we define mission in the local church? How can churches think well about mission across the world? Adrian Reynolds (FIEC) is joined by Eddie Arthur (Wycliffe Bible Translators) to discuss world mission in local churches. Super helpful.
(3) A New Testament for the Yupik peoples
A lovely 7-min video from Wycliffe Bible Translators about how, and indeed why, missionaries and Yupik Christians of St. Lawrence Island in Alaska recently translated translated the New Testament. There's something about Bible translations and translators that just requires a video to grasp how immensely hard and immensely valuable it all is.
DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)
(1) How Western Christians can lose power gracefully
Worth engaging with: "As powerless as we may yet become, we will always have access to that different kind of power. Scripture promises that we shall overcome. But our overcoming is not by argument, by proof-texting, or by defensiveness. Scripture promises that we shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony—two very tender, messy, creaturely things." Mandy Smith for the MissioAlliance blog.
(2) Replacing the Great Commission
Hey, who said Mission Hits was here just to make us feel good about ourselves and our most cherished concepts? :-) Jay Matenga (Executive Director of the Mission Commission, World Evangelical Alliance) here arguing that "I do not believe that the concept of the “Great Commission” is fit for purpose in missions today, or as a framework for churches to speak about their ministries in the world…We can afford to relegate the concept to the annals of missions history." Agree or not, it's healthy to comprehend, consider and engage.
(3) Mission in Themelios Journal
I put together a short Twitter thread of all the World Mission/World Christianity-related articles and book reviews from the latest edition of the Themelios Journal (edition 47.2: August 2022). Well worth picking out the one or two that catch your eye…
BOOKS (recent releases)
Links are to Amazon for best info/reviews. Other outlets are available...
(1) God at Work in the World: Theology and Mission in the Global Church (2022)
"[The author] argues that theology of mission deals with God's work in and for the world, which is centered on salvation in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Pachuau brings a global perspective to mission theology, explains how theology of mission is related to theology as a discipline, and recognizes recent critiques of "missions," offering a compelling response rooted in the very nature of God."
(2) The Church and Migration: A Theological Vision for the People of God (2022)
Daniel Montañez & Wilmer Estrada-Carrasquillo
"In an age of global migration and mass displacement, what is the responsibility of the Church in responding to the needs and realities of migrant and displaced communities? This resource sets forth a theological vision for understanding migration from a Biblical-theological perspective and serves as an accessible and educational guide for pastors, church leaders, and parishioners to better understand what the Bible says about God’s heart towards people on the move and how these truths can be applied in our modern world."
(3) Mobilizing Gen Z: Challenges and Opportunities for the Global Age of Missions (2022)
Jolene Erlacher & Katy White
"Through an in-depth profile of this rising cohort-their characteristics, worldview, strengths and weaknesses-the authors illustrate both why Gen Z is sorely needed and why we must seek to engage them differently than previous generations. Encouraging and winsome, Mobilizing Gen Z provides practical tools and strategies for engaging, equipping, and retaining Gen Z missionaries."
MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)
(1) Loving the Lost: Prayer Guide
This is neat. 52 pages for 52 weeks. Each page has one paragraph about (and a few prayer points for) one unreached people group worldwide, as well as a picture and a appropriate Bible verse. Could be used in bible study groups, family devotions, church newsletters, and other such things. Produced by IMB: just give them your email and they'll send the PDF download link.
(2) Why Taiwan loves this Canadian missionary dentist
Christianity Today magazine share the history and legacy of 19th Century Canadian missionary George Leslie Mackay. Even today there are books being written about him, statues of him, and postage stamps containing his image. Why? The answer is simultaneously so simple and so hard. He truly loved the people, respected the culture, and honored the place.
(3) 'Counting the cost' daily emails
Subscribe to this Missio Nexus devotional series with text provided by 'The Voice of the Martyrs.' Sign up for 40 daily devotional emails delivered to your inbox every morning persecuted country and shows what it is like for believers to live for Christ in these regions. Series began August 19th but you can sign up anytime.
QUOTES (wise one-liners)
(1) "There’s a reason why God allowed the early church to be scattered. They made disciples everywhere they went."
(2) "A church should not simply have a missions department. It should wholly exist to be a mission"
(3) "Worship is love on its knees before the beloved; just as mission is love on its feet to serve the beloved"
N. T. Wright
GLOBAL INSIGHT (Noteworthy world news and info)
(1) Why Gulf migrants are turning to evangelical Christianity
"(Pentecostal) Evangelical Christianity is quietly flourishing among migrant groups in the Gulf as churches provide low-paid workers facing horrific abuse with aid in times of crisis, according to pastors and parishioners across the region."
(2) Abandoning God: Christianity plummets as ‘non-religious’ surges in census
"Australia has become strikingly more godless over the past decade, with the latest census data showing the proportion of self-identified Christians dropping below 50 per cent for the first time and a soaring number of people describing themselves as “non-religious”.
(3) Foreigners are leaving China in droves. Does the nation want or need them anymore?
"What started as a trickle a few years back has now turned into an exodus of foreigners. They are heading to their home countries after years, sometimes decades, abroad. By many accounts, they won’t be going back. Foreigners are no longer considered vital to the nation’s progress. But the loss of the very people with knowledge, experience and connections to China is significant"
TWEETS (short but significant)
ONLINE EVENTS (Zoom seminars & conferences)
(1) Multiplying bam solutions to pressing global issues
'Flagship event' from BamGlobal (a global initiative under the Lausanne Movement) on the 15th of September. Six hours of BAM content and networking. Cost is $30 but if you add $10 you get a booster 3-hour webinar in November on top. "Learn how BAM enterprises are addressing issues such as: the challenge of reaching the remaining unreached peoples with the gospel, environmental degradation and lack of creation care, slavery and exploitation, rising unemployment due to the pandemic and wars, economic injustice and poverty."
(2) Local & global mission: Exploring a healthy place for both in the local church
14th September 2022 1pm-2pm (UK time). British mission agency UFM ask how might being engaged globally inspire us locally and how might we recover a heart for world mission that springs naturally from what we’re doing at home.
Six 3 hour-long sessions spread over three weeks starting 27th September. Run By Stewardship (UK) "Together we look at support raising in the Bible, challenge misconceptions and fears around support raising, and equip you to build a team of partners who stand with you in prayer, encourage you and partner financially. You will come away with a plan to grow your support team by at least four new partners." Cost: £145
HIGHLIGHTS (3 most popular links from the previous Mission Hits…)
(1) Let the missionaries be glad
(2) How pastors support global missions
(3) Where are all the single male missionaries?
JUST FOR FUN (unrelated but interesting!)
(1) 'I'm from the same town as….'
Who is the most famous person (based on Wikipedia hits) from YOUR hometown? What a pointlessly fun world map. My local famous person from here in Namugongo (Uganda) is, bizarrely, a female Norwegian weightlifter. Who is yours?
I can't quite work out if this has any value at all. Perhaps not. But it's certainly mildly fascinating and a little addictive. Type in any phrase, and immediately watch 5 quick movie clips that use that phrase.
(3) The quest to find $181 million buried in a dump
James Howells accidentally threw away a hard drive with $118m of Bitcoin on it. That's gotta sting. He's hatched an astonishing $11m plan (involving robot dogs, artificial-intelligence machines, and robotic arms) to try and find it again in a Welsh rubbish dump. I reckon if he pulls this off, the movie will be worth more than the Bitcoins themselves.
Full searchable archives of all Mission Hits resources from edition #1
Questions, comments, or suggestions for the next edition?
Find out more about fromeverynation.net