Mission Hits #5 (Sep 2020)
Welcome to Mission Hits, a fortnightly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world Christianity, world church, and world mission.
Mission Hits is a ministry of www.fromeverynation.net
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(1) General, (2) Video/Audio, (3) Digging deeper, and (4) Books.
Should Christians be focusing on words or works? In some ways it's such a tiresome discussion by now, and yet it is of course crucial. This article outlines the foundation of a sensible and God-centred answer to the question. "Love for God and people leads to seeking his glory by doing good things for them…We call attention to God’s greatness when, as His children, we do good things for the sake of his name."
'Missions Sunday' is often more common and valued in the US than UK, but many churches still do it in some form or another. Some useful advice and ideas here about how to run such a thing online rather than merely postponing it.
"The common narrative explaining the rise of Asian Christianity in the modern age is a story of Western goers sent by Western senders, and there’s some truth to that…But the story turns out to be more complicated." Interesting long form article on the Gospel Coalition blog.
Paul Washer writes passionately: "It is astounding how few missionaries concern themselves with the study of doctrine, and how few theologians concern themselves with the work of missions…To set a person loose on the mission field who is governed by the most recent methodologies in church growth but is not grounded in the rule of Scripture is a dangerous thing. And yet, this has become a common practice"
This is fascinating: “There is a very real risk that church growth is outpacing discipleship…Many leaders are now in prison, or have been forced out of the country. Consequently, ministry was forced underground where it “spread like wildfire” through cell groups and house churches. “The Iranian authorities lost oversight of it,” said Nicolai. “There was nothing they could do to stop the spread of the gospel.” They tried, and are trying still."
Sometimes the language in mission circles revolves around folk deciding they want to be a missionary and approaching an agency and then informing their church leader later. I appreciated that this article was written for church leaders to think about their role in identifying and developing potential missionaries.
UK Missions Society Crosslinks' latest magazine, with some interesting updates on lockdown ministries going on in Czech Republic, Rwanda, South Africa and India.
Jay Matenga (Director of Missions and Evangelism for the World Evangelical Alliance) reviews where he sees world mission as of August 2020. It's a long but thoughtful read and you won't come away without being helpfully prodded and poked and provoked.
WEC-UK are kindly offering (through Momentum Yes) a free online video-based course, which "teaches, inspires, and equips to rethink God’s mission" with WEC Mobiliser Raine Ihalainen. Starts 8th September 2020 every Tuesday evening from 8.30pm for 6 weeks.
45-minute interview with Timothy Kiho Park, senior professor of Asian missions at Fuller Theological Seminary, former missionary in the Philippines for 15 years, founder of the Institute for Asian Mission and Asian Society of Missiology, and President of East-West Center for Missions Research and Development. Be patient as you listen, there are some real gems there about supporting Asian missionaries, being a leader not a boss, making unpopular decisions, and learning from your mistakes.
30-minute podcast discussion with Christian Mungai (a native Kenyan, serves as the Global Engagement Pastor at a church in California) about trends in global mission, encouraging local churches to become globally minded through listening, learning, and long-term relationships, and steps local churches can take to be become globally minded in their missions strategy. Hearing an African missionary to the US speak about global missions mobilization there was an enjoyably fresh perspective on some important issues.
A useful challenge to agencies to grapple more with diaspora movements worldwide in their mission strategies: "As history unfolds and global migration increases, more and more people groups are being dispersed throughout the entire globe. Dealing with this phenomenon is now called diaspora missiology. Not many agencies take note of the strategic value of reaching the more accessible fragments of these global peoples”
SIM-UK, in conjunction with several other agencies and organisations, have published some extensive research into attitudes and practices of intercultural mission in Leeds and Manchester. The reports can be found here. They give an outstanding overview of what's happening, what the challenges are, and what needs to change to progress more effectively.
The Evangelical Missiological Society annual conference is online. Theme is 'The Past and Future of Evangelical Mission'. Plenary sessions led by Luis Bush (Cornerstone International University), Emma Wild-Wood (University of Edinburgh) Melba Padilla Maggay, (Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture), and Todd Johnson (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). Full Program is available on this webpage. Friday & Saturday 9th-10th October 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM (CST).
The author, ordained minister of the Methodist Church Ghana, formulates "A theology of poverty that engages Scripture, African traditional wisdom, and contemporary African concerns to create a paradigm for understanding and alleviating poverty in Africa."
Tom Steffen and William Bjoraker
"Have Western exegetes turned an Eastern book into a Western one? Has our fondness for a fixed printed text capable of being analyzed with precision and exactitude blinded us to other hermeneutic possibilities? Does God require all people to be able to analyze grammar to interpret Scripture?"
I enjoyed Eddie's new short book hugely, took copious notes and will be reviewing regularly. Highly recommended for trustees/workers in mission agencies, but also good for engaged church leaders and mission-minded Christians to be familiar with these issues. 60 mins well spent.
Mission hits is a ministry of www.fromeverynation.net
For questions, comments, or suggestions for the next edition, email email@example.com
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!