From Every Nation (Chris Howles)
Mission Hits #6 (Sep 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.
(1) Global Missions through the Bible: 1 and 2 Peter
Good example of recognising the missional context and content of the NT writings: "The books of 1 and 2 Peter, then, are best understood as missionary literature. The letters were written to instruct Christians on how to faithfully display the gospel in a context of hostility and opposition. The timeless truths conveyed by Peter in these letters remain instructive and engender hope and perseverance for Christians living on mission today"
(2) Discontinuing Missionary Support
Not a topic many of us like to think about, but one that can go badly wrong indeed if not considered carefully. This article has some helpful advice. "Missions enthusiasm drops and cynicism sets in when a church funds missionaries in whom they lack confidence. Increasingly, church leaders are wanting to take proactive steps to ensure that they are fulfilling their God-given responsibility to be good stewards of the finances entrusted to them by the congregation"
(3) Thai Church Holds Record-Breaking Baptism Despite COVID-19
"The Free in Jesus Christ Church Association (FJCCA) held the largest baptism in its history and, it says, the history of the church in Thailand. FJCCA, a Thai-led movement that focuses on village-level evangelism, baptized 1,435 people in a single day on September 6".
(4) Language learning is ministry
"As a supported Christian missionary, the temptation is to consider language learning as a hurdle. Something I have to “get over” so I can get to the real stuff of preaching and discipling. However, I have come to realize that language learning takes time, but this is not wasted time. In fact, it is necessary. I came up with four reasons why language learning for missionaries should take time."
(5) Books, videos, and websites for Third Culture Kids
This is nicely done. Lots and lots of links to, and ideas about, resources for TCK's (Third Culture Kids e.g. Missionary kids). If you are a missionary family, looking to encourage one in some way, or responsible for sending and supporting missionary families in any form, this is a website worth browsing.
(6) A Summary of Great Commission Activities
Paul Washer here looks at the 'Great Commission' passages in all 4 Gospels and Acts and identifies 4 priorities for the church in the world today on mission: Going, Witnessing, Baptizing, and Teaching (and then praying also).
Any article about God's mission that has the following subtitles must be worth a second glance: 1. He freely chooses an absurd starting point for mission. 2. He freely chooses absurd people in advancing his kingdom. 3. He freely acts in absurd ways. From the Latimer Trust.
This series of 8 podcasts is about Renee Bach, the young American missionary who, working in a malnutrition centre in Jinja, Uganda, is accused of being responsible in some way for some or all or the deaths of 100+ children that died there between 2010-2017. It is an IMMENSELY complicated issue, almost impossible to find 2 people who agree, and raises far more questions than answers. But I would honestly say that this story (and it's best understood through these podcasts) is one that all Western mission thinkers really must engage with and learn from (Note: The link takes you to a Forbes article about the podcast, and you can follow the links from there to listen)
(2) Understanding the Remaining Mission Task
This is a very well-made 6-minute video explaining, for each part of the world, what's happening in regard to faithful Christians, nominal believers, non-Christians, and unreached and frontier groups. It rightly challenges the Western church to ask where the focus of our efforts goes. It would be great to show to a missions committee at a church, think about in small groups, or even show in a whole church service on a 'Missions Sunday' or such like.
(3) Multicultural Church from the Other Side
Eddie Arthur highlights a really honest and interesting short video about a perspective and issue which don't often see: "This three-minute video is well worth a watch. It looks at the question from the other side, from the point of view of a white guy trying to integrate into an African congregation in the UK. There are good lessons for all churchgoers in here."
(4) Critical Theory, Post-colonialism, and Missions
Of course it's immensely complex, but critical race theory, intersectionality, and 'wokeness' is going to have, and already is having, major impacts on missions thinking. I see it everywhere. But it's such a charged and emotive topic that I'm sure I'm not the only one who is reluctant to think out loud about it. That's why I really appreciated these guys doing just that. No easy answers, but lots of good questions worth pondering. I really recommend mission thinkers give this a listen.
(1) Church in Contemporary African Society
Zoom webinar Thursday 24th September (tomorrow) 2pm UK time for 90mins. "This webinar therefore discusses the fundamental issue of the role of the churches in contemporary African society looking at the challenges and seeking a vision for the future. How should churches in Africa respond to their contextual challenges? How can the churches be a major component to social action and change?" Speakers include Prof Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu - Director of the Center for the Study of Christianity in Africa, Trinity Theological Seminary, Ghana, Prof Esther Mombo - Professor of Theology at St Paul's University, Limuru in Kenya, and Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, Director of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research and Dialogue.
(2) Free IMB resources on mission-related topics
The IMB (International Mission Board is a Baptist Christian missionary society affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Stateside. They have an absolute plethora of free written resources here on a huge amount of missions-related topics, everything from prayer, refugee ministry, reaching Hindus, modern mission, missions history, and much more.
(3) The Future of Missions Online conference
"Interested in learning about the global, cultural and spiritual realities that are shaping and impacting the future of missions?" On October 29th 7pm (EDT) IMB are hosting a 2-hour zoom event with Paul Chitwood, the IMB President, and other speakers. Interestingly on of the topics (from Jennie Allen) is one I've not seen much before: 'How does Gen Z think about missions?'
(1) Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: 2nd Edition (2020)
Andreas J. Köstenberger (with T. Desmond Alexander)
The first edition of this was perhaps the first major book on mission I read, about 14 years ago. It was a real game-changer in my life. "This second edition of Salvation to the Ends of the Earth emphasizes the way in which the Bible presents a continuing narrative of the story of God's mission - ranging from the story of Israel to the story of Jesus and that of the early Christians. At the same time, importantly, it provides a robust historical and chronological backbone to the unfolding of the early Christian mission."
(2) Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope (2020)
"Reading While Black is a personal and scholarly testament to the power and hope of Black biblical interpretation. At a time in which some within the African American community are questioning the place of the Christian faith in the struggle for justice, New Testament scholar McCaulley argues that reading Scripture from the perspective of Black church tradition is invaluable for connecting with a rich faith history and addressing the urgent issues of our times."
Mission hits is a ministry of www.fromeverynation.net
For questions, comments, or suggestions for the next edition, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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!