Mission Hits #9 (Nov 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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CONTENTS: Maximum of 3 resources in each category…
Essentials (if you only have time for 3 clicks, make it these)
General (excellent articles well worth reading)
Audio-Visual (podcasts, videos...)
Digging Deeper (more technical/academic resources)
Books (the pick of recent releases)
Miscellaneous (None of the above!)
From 2016, but given not many people are getting on planes at the moment this seems more relevant than ever (from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) : "Becoming a Christian concerned about the global mission of Christ among the nations has never been easier—and not simply because a plane can take you anywhere in the world. In fact, there are some simple but effective ways to be a global Christian without logging any miles. Below are six…"
This is a clear and easy-read (also with an excellent animated Heat Map of Church Growth in Thailand, 1870-2016) answering an important question with realism and hope: "Christians should be glad for church growth in Thailand in the past, slow though it may have been, and hopeful for the future. Bad things happen and disappointments abound in this world, but the work of God goes on and the present rate of church growth should give Christians everywhere a reason to rejoice" Written by Karl Dahlfred of OMF.
David Brainerd was an 18th Century missionary to Native Americans. He experienced immense hardships and died aged 29. This article outlines 5 lessons from his life that are still applicable to many missionaries today. "Brainerd’s story reminds us that the missionary task is replete with significant challenges, yet it is being accomplished by those walking in the footsteps of David Brainerd who heed his warnings, count the cost, and conclude, “He is worth it!” Even better, the same one who was behind Brainerd’s success is behind ours"
This is as true for all Christians as it is for formal missionaries - learning from and living out Christ's incarnation today: "A pastor once called upon a new member of his congregation at the man’s place of work. When the pastor extended his hand in greeting, the man apologetically replied, 'I can’t shake hands with you, Reverend. My hands are too grimy.' With that the Pastor bent down and rubbed his hands in the coal dust at his feet and then offered his blackened hand to the worker, asking, 'How about it now?'
I would certainly appreciate anyone who prayed these 5 things for my ministry and context here. Short and helpful from UFM Director Michael Prest, the sort of thing worth printing out and using as a bookmark or pinning to your monitor.
2018 short article for those seeing slow or no obvious progress as missionaries involved in DMMs (Discipleship-Making Movements). However the principles are applicable to all Christians involved in mission efforts in any contexts. "When we work hard but don’t quickly see results, it’s just plain difficult. We need to know how to stay motivated in disciple making and evangelism while we wait for the fruit to come".
I thought this was really, really helpful (from 2019). 37 minutes well worth your time if you are involved in short-term missions from any angle (inc. church leaders sending individuals or teams out cross-culturally). Podcast from AIMEurope interviewing 3 missionaries who receive short-term mission visitors. Honest, perceptive, constructive and challenging.
Missio Nexus (USA) have out videos online from their recent 2020 'Focus' missions conference, including "Integrated Holistic Christian Missions" by Enoch Wan (Western Seminary) and "Accepting Ethnic Diversity and Difference" by Rev Dr Kate Coleman (Former chair of the UK Evangelical Alliance Council).
Whether we know it or not, so much of our mission theology flows from our understanding of that question. "In Genesis, Adam was told to be fruitful, multiply, and take dominion of creation. He failed. Now, believers in Christ are called to spread the good news of Christ to the world. Are these two separate missions, or is the Great Commission a renewal of the original marching orders from Eden?" 44-minute podcast with Matthew Newkirk, author of 'Fill the Earth: The Creation Mandate and the Church’s Call to Missions'.
British Missiologist Eddie Arthur summarizes a 2005 paper by great missions-historian Andrew Walls, with some really, really pertinent quotes: "If Walls is correct, then the current decline in Christianity in the West is not just a blip, it is a part of a long-term historic trend. It will not simply be remedied by trying harder, we need to think in new terms. The cross-cultural transmission of the faith is key to this. If the church in the West is to grow and thrive, it needs a degree of humility vis-a-vis the church in the rest of the world"
A readable, challenging and provocative essay (pages 6-13 in Anvil: Journal of Theology and Mission) from Malawian Dr Harvey Kwiyani (Lecturer in African Christianity and Theology at Liverpool Hope University). As one commentator writes about the essay "We might wish to deny that racism and colonialism have anything to do with mission, but from the point of view of the colonised and the victims of racism, this is simply not true and we need to hear their voices if we are to have any relevance in God’s mission today."
This long article goes back to 2015 but it's new to me. Aubrey Sequeira grew up in south India and now pastors in Abu Dhabi. Be warned, this article pulls no punches! It is a gut-wrenching critique of the falsities, hypocrisy, and deceptions he has witnessed in some interactions between Western missionaries and Indian church leaders on the sub-continent. It's not the whole story, but we in the Western missions movement would be unwise to ignore such things. A worthy read for those in mission partnerships with non-Western countries.
Paul H. de Neui
"This book showcases the writings of sixteen reflective practitioners who offer insights based on their study and experience of history. These women and men come from a wide variety of cultural and theological backgrounds. Their stories include an American who brought Protestant Buddhism to Sri Lanka, a Norwegian Lutheran who started a Christian monastic community in Hong Kong, a local scholar who led a faith movement in China that nearly overthrew the government, and a Thai villager who became an evangelist and a silent-film star"
Kyama M. Mugambi
"While outlining a century of successive renewal movements in Kenya between 1920 and 2020, the study also delves into features of recent urban Pentecostal churches. Readers will find a thorough historical treatment of themes such as church structures, corporate vision, Christian formation, and theological education. The longitudinal and comparative analysis shows how these Pentecostal approaches to orality, kinship, and integrated spirituality inform Kenyans' reimagination of Christianity"
Alexander Chow and Emma Wild-Wood (Editors)
Horribly expensive at the moment, but some fascinating-looking chapters within (full contents here https://brill.com/view/title/58435) including "1899–1900: Ecumenism and Independency in the Emerging World History of Christianity" by Mark Noll and "Mission: Integrated or Autonomous? Implications for the Study of World Christianity" by Kirsteen Kim.
If you are a regular reader of the 'Kouya' blog then much of this will be familiar to you, but either way, I believe this 15-minute monologue from British missiologist Eddie Arthur is a valuable 15-min investment for anyone involved in the leadership or membership of a mission agency. He calls for us to ask uncomfortable questions of ourselves, including the crucial question 'Are we relevant?' (and outlines how we might start discerning such a thing)
A 2-hour zoom conference on Saturday 14th November run through OMF: "NextGen is an event to inspire and encourage you in your role in God’s plan to reach the nations. Gather online with the next generation of Christians from across the denominations to ignite a passion for world mission…Get fired up by God’s word about his heart for the nations. Hear inspiring stories of people serving in the UK and abroad. Be equipped to play your part in God’s mission to reach the nations, across the street and across the world."
1h Zoom event on Thursday 19th November organized by 16:15 Missions Coaching: "Done biblically, indigenous ministry partnerships are not simply a novel innovation brought about by a pragmatic need, but a biblical model of global missions that displays the trinitarian nature of God and impacts the least reached. For any church or agency seeking to become involved in an indigenous ministry partnership, the two questions that should be answered are 'why?' and how?'"
(1) “Missionaries are very human folks, just doing what they are asked. Simply a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt somebody"
(2) “The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become"
(3) "Those who catch the (missions) vision will follow the Lamb wherever He goes, regardless of the cost involved. They have courage to break conventionalities, they care not what the world thinks of them because they are caught up with the realities of souls & God"
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!