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  • Writer's pictureFrom Every Nation (Chris Howles)

Mission Hits #57 (March 2024)


Welcome to Mission Hits, a monthly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world mission and world Christianity.


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Welcome to Mission Hits #57

Wherever you find yourselves this Easter geographically, culturally, spiritually or emotionally, I pray that you find a renewed sense of hope in Christ this Easter, and that such hope continues to move and motivate us to participate in God's mission this season - in whatever ways He calls and equips us to! I trust too that some of these articles, blogs, tweets, books, videos, podcasts and stats will help you to do that more faithfully and fruitfully.

 

As ever, a wonderful selection of incredible resources here related to world mission and world Christianity. I'm so thankful to those who created them, so grateful to have the opportunity to curate them, and so excited to communicate them to you all!

 

If you know anyone who might find this a useful monthly resource to receive, then please do pass this on and encourage them to sign up. And please feel free to send me any suggestions or feedback (chris.howles@fromeverynation.net).

 

Blessings,

 

Chris (Howles)

Director of Cross-Cultural Training, Oak Hill College (UK)

Doctorate in Intercultural Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary (US)


 

ESSENTIALS (if you only have time for one...)


Essential for Missionaries


"He is the great rewarder. His commendation awaits. I must not bury his talents, but invest and risk them. Risk them all." The story of a 'mundane' kids bedtime Bible time and the reminder it provided to this US missionary that God is not stingy and harsh, but a great provider and rewarder for all who entrust themselves to Him. This is sweet, and there'll be some missionaries who need it right now.


Essential for Church Leaders


What is the purpose and value of missionary care 'advocacy teams' in supporting, sending and sustaining cross-cultural gospel workers from the local church? Helpful blog post for church leaders from Christian Townson writing for the Upstream Collective.

Essential for Mission Agency Workers


British missiologist Dr Eddie Arthur has written over 150 blog posts over the past few years about the purpose and work of mission agencies in the 21st century. His writing is always accessible to non-experts, clear, illuminating and fresh, and although it's not always comfortable reading for mission agencies it is crucial, and so well worth the very small purchase price.

Essential for Christians Partnering as Senders


"I’ve had the great honor of working with hundreds of missionaries. I’ve had the opportunity to celebrate great wins, but I have also watched great collapses when team conflict, life pressures, or burnout takes these godly men and women out of the game. How can your church remember its missionaries and continue to care for them as they serve?" Scott Hildreth (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) suggests how local churches can care well for their sent-out missionaries.


 

GENERAL (well worth your time)

 

Ted Esler (President, MissioNexus) argues that many church leaders in the States need a 'second conversion' to cross-cultural thinking. Challenging post from someone who knows the US evangelical missions/church scene as well as anyone. "There are many Christians, most pastors in fact, that never are converted to the Great Commission. They think they are. They might include the nations when pressed, but in their heart of hearts, they do not act or lead in a way that reflects a fuller understanding of the Great Commission as a command to reach the nations."

 

Gospel Coalition article giving an overview of the impact AI is having on Bible translation worldwide: In short - speeding it up, and reducing the cost: "Concerns about AI being turned loose to translate with little or no human interaction aren’t based on reality. AI works as a copilot."

"Missions isn’t simply offering a way to escape hell. We’re offering citizenship in the eternal kingdom of God. Ultimately, our motivation in missions is God’s glory seen and experienced in the new creation. Nothing less will shape and sustain missionaries on the field." Zane Pratt (IMB) writing for The Gospel Coalition


 

AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts & videos)


“A multilingual church isn’t just a church where people speak different languages, but one where everyone is moving towards the vision where no matter what language you speak you can participate, serve & lead fully in the life of the church at every level”  23-min episode of 'The Church Interpreting' podcast

 

How can the values of diversity and unity be reflected well in the church, specifically in terms of race and ethnicity, and how do they relate to mission? 41min episode of the 'The Mission Drop' podcast interviewing  Dr. Miriam Adeney, a missiological anthropologist.

 

"We live in a time of mounting global tensions, of wars and rumors of wars. What hope do we have for the future of missions should conflict continue to build?" 15-min episode of the 'Ask Pastor John' podcast (full transcript also available)


 

DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)

Many of us go straight to Acts 13 (Barnabus' and Saul's first so-called 'missionary journey') to build a framework for God's work in mission today. But here Harvey Kwiyani argues that we'd do better to see themes of missional migration at play in Acts 2, Acts 8, and Acts 11, long before we get to Acts 13.

 

A three-part Biblical theology of missions from Sam Emadi writing for Reaching & Teaching International. From Genesis to Revelation, these articles present a clear, unified storyline of God's heart and action for all nations through Scripture.

 

"Ministering cross-culturally invites us to examine and let go some of our own deeply embedded religious convictions as we participate with God in his mission to extend blessing in Christ Jesus to any one in any nation who fears him." Ken Anderson, writing for ChinaSource, helpfully reminds us all that God is at work to transform us, as he did Peter, into those who are willing to think and go cross-culturally.


 

BOOKS (recent releases)

Links are to Amazon for best info/reviews. Other outlets are available...


Harvey Kwiyani

"This volume provides a diverse perspective on missiology as understood and practised by African Christians. Engaging such wide-ranging topics as gender violence, globalization, Westernization, peacebuilding, development, Pentecostalism, urban missiology, theological education, and African Christianity in Europe, this volume ambitiously bridges the gap between academic and practitioner perspectives, engaging both theological discourse and the hands-on reality of how God's mission is taking shape in Africa and beyond"

 

Darrell L. Whiteman

"After explaining the nature and function of culture and the importance of understanding culture for ministry, [the author] addresses the most common challenges of ministering across cultures. He then provides practical solutions based on lived experience, helping readers develop healthy patterns so they can communicate the gospel effectively. Issues addressed include negotiating differences in worldview, the problem of nonverbal communication, understanding cultural forms and their meanings, and the challenge of overcoming culture shock."

 

Edited by Jonathan J. Bonk. Michel G. Distefano, J. Nelson Jennings, Jinbong Kim & Jae Hoon Lee

"[This book] offers a unique blend of theological insight and practical application. It gathers perspectives from theologians and practitioners, each giving a comprehensive understanding of creation care. The contributors not only diagnose environmental and humanitarian issues but also propose actionable solutions rooted in biblical foundations and contemporary experiences. It is a call to action for Christians and mission leaders worldwide, urging active participation in restoring and preserving our planet."


 

MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)


I have recently returned from 12 years living and working at Uganda Martyrs Seminary, a Bible college in Uganda. It's built on the site of one of the most remarkable stories of all church history - the martyrdom of 25 young Ugandan believers in 1886. This wonderful 28-min documentary tells that remarkable story in the most beautiful and compelling way, and talks more about the remarkable 40-yr long friendship between that college and Oak Hill College (London), where I now serve. A brilliant story brilliantly documented here.

 

Afrigo is an e-zine published from and for the African church in mission. This most recent edition describes the new field of ethnodoxology and "shares intriguing examples of how God's people are using song, dance, instruments, videography and other artistic fields to share his love and message." I know some of you will be interested to hear more about how these Africans are thinking missiologically.

 

A series of video interviews between David Platt from the gospel coalition's 2023 national conference, including ‘Your church can fuel global missions’ (with John Piper), ‘How your church can start sending missionaries’ (JD Greear and Ken Mbugua), and ‘The nations reaching the nations – starting in your church’ (with Jairo Namnún, Soojin Park & Kori Porter).


 

QUOTES (wise one-liners)


(1) "You can do with 12 disciples what you cannot do with 12,000 consumers."

Alan Hirsch

 

(2) "The world changing around you is you being sent to new mission fields."

Caleb Crider

 

(3) "Typically, we try to do with money what we should do with witness."

Nik Ripken


 

GLOBAL INSIGHT (critical news & trends)


(A brief acknowledgement that many of the links under this section each month come from missions researcher Justin Long's excellent 'Weekly Roundup' posts: You can sign up here)

In terms of religion, there are 'two Africas'. The third-largest mosque in the world, the biggest in Africa, and largest outside Islam’s holiest cities, with the world's tallest minaret and a prayer room that accommodates 120,000 people, has opened in Algeria (built by the Chinese).

 

99 of the world's 100 most polluted cities are in Asia, 83 of them in India. "In some of the most polluted countries, [this] is likely shaving off anywhere between three to six years of people’s lives.

 

Fascinating infographic showing average births per women, country by country (2019). African countries are in orange - striking isn't it?


 

TWEETS (short but significant) \


 

STATS (noteworthy numbers)


(1) Just over a decade ago, the continent with the most Christians in was Europe. By 2100, Europe will be 5th (above only small Oceania). SOURCE

 

(2) With over 600,000 dead, the Ethiopia (Tigray) war has been the deadliest conflict of the century so far. SOURCE

 

(3) In a 1980 census, 6.6 percent of Brazilians self-identified as evangelicals. By 2022 it was up to 31% SOURCE

 

 

ONLINE EVENTS (Zoom seminars and conferences)


"How do we engage and inspire this new generation (Gen Z) to love the Lord and be passionate about global missions? Through years of experience with Gen Z, Tanner Callison seeks to challenge you to think differently and reprioritize your ministry efforts among this promising generation." MissioNexus online event. Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 12pm CT, free for members.


"This module explores both the crucial issues for mission in Britain and Europe today and the practice of contemporary mission that is suitable for that context.  Suitable for anyone engaged in mission in Europe, this course will equip participants with a broad knowledge of the key issues and with the skills to do ongoing missiological reflection in their own specific local context." 4-day program with Jim Memory (Lausanne Europe) from 15th-18th April. £500.

 

Dr. Raimundo Barreto and Dr. Heath Carter speak on Nationalism, Mission, & World Christianity. Seminar ("of seminal importance to the mission of the church today for scholars, church leaders, and intercultural workers of all kinds")  run by the Overseas Ministries Studies Centre at Princeton Theological Seminary. May 9th-10th, 2024, 9.30-11.30am (EDT). Free.


 

HIGHLIGHTS (Most popular from last month's Mission Hits…)

 

 


 

JUST FOR FUN (unrelated but interesting!)


Move around the world map and click on the icons to listen to the natural sounds going on there - everything from Serengeti hippos to raindrops in a jungle of India, coyotes in the Mexican Sierra, evening birds on the coast of Hawaii, or the gentle waves of the Albanian Riviera. Excellent website to relax to!

 

I find North Korea confusing. I'm sure many others do too. This report sheds tries to understand the role of tech/internet there, and what the future might hold. I found it fascinating. "What we do know about the country comes almost entirely secondhand, through the stories of defectors and the hard work of professional North Korean watchers. But it’s only ever a composite guess, an incomplete portrait of a nuclear state with about 25 million civilian hostages. Still, the people inside are not the mindless drones that Western culture imagines them to be."

 

The Weekly Filet has been linking to thoughtful and thought-provoking online articles about all manner of topics for many years. There's now 2,500 or so in the archives, and this link will generate a random one for you.  Much better way to spend a 'spare' 5 minutes on our phones than many of us do.


 

Full searchable archives of all Mission Hits resources from edition #1



Find out more about fromeverynation.net

 

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