In the evangelical world, short-term mission trips are incredibly important. They exist as almost a right of passage for many students and other young Christians; joining a short-trip to Africa, or somewhere is one of the things you do before you settle down and get on with life. For many established mission agencies, short-term mission trips comprise one of their main publicity and recruitment tools and then there is a whole load of organisations whose whole purpose is facilitating short-term trips. Whatever the benefits or otherwise of short-term mission, you cannot ignore it.
Last week, I was asked to lead a seminar on the subject of humble mission with the following strapline:
Humble mission: what is the role of the European church in Mission? Can we overcome barriers from our
I have written many times about the need for mission workers to be actively supported by their church, agency, family and friends – all of whom are very important for the resilience and fruitfulness of the mission worker.
However, the provision of intentional, pre-emptive, supportive care does not absolve mission workers from caring for themselves! With millennials in the mission field, who are accustomed to more attentive parenting, workplace nurturing and personal mentoring, there may be an expectation of higher standards of support than were previously considered appropriate. We need to lovingly remind mission workers that they are not children, they have been selected for their ability to thrive in the mission field, and have been trained to withstand the challenges of life in demanding places.
In the Bible people’s details are recorded a number of times. In the Old Testament we read about censuses, some to establish the number of the people of Israel, others for determining the number of men eligible for military service. Solomon even undertook a census of the number of foreigners in the land for the purpose of allocating labour. This was a very different world – no reference to data protection regulations, there are no ‘opt out’ tick boxes and no record of canvassers harassing people for donations.
Today data is recognised as a very valuable commodity. It is necessary for wise allocation of government resources such as adequate health and education facilities but it can also be misused leading to identity theft or the targeting of particular segments of society who could be termed vulnerable.
Passion for Mission Speaker 2017 Israel Olofinjana writes on the concept of “reverse mission”, which is becoming more and more relevant for the church today.
If you live in an urban part of the UK, you have probably noticed the many African, Latin American, Caribbean and Asian churches and Christians in Britain. Perhaps you’ve wondered why all these people are coming and starting churches in the UK?
One popular phrase used to describe this activity is ‘reverse mission’, but what is reverse mission, and why is it a controversial term?Read more
This weekend my husband and I were privileged to deliver training for new ministers in our denomination regarding the foundations of mission. The objective was to facilitate thought around leading churches with a heart for the Great Commission.
What is in the heart of the leader often forms the DNA and emphasis of the church in question. So my hypothesis is that for leaders to be missional, they need to truly believe that the Great Commission is still relevant for today plus they need to have a personal revelation of what that might look like from a church perspective; locally and globally.
In this blog post I aim to highlight some potential ways to promote mission, seeing the Great Commission reside at the heart of church leaders.Read more
My fleshly-me often wishes I could have a wife, try her out for a while, then leave her if I don’t want to carry on. If this is not allowed for wives, why is it allowed for mission?
Where is the precedent for trying-out God’s service before committing oneself? Many young people who come to Africa seem to have that in mind. They come saying “I am asking if God is calling me here”. Some say “I will definitely come back”, but they do not. What exactly is going on? Couldn’t God speak to them before they came? Does God only speak to people once they have arrived in Africa? Do young people only want to come if they think they will enjoy it – is mission about ‘enjoying’? Are they testing the people being reached – “if you are loving and friendly enough to me, then I will come”? Are they saying to God “make me happy, then I’ll serve you”? Or are they testing themselves – “can I do it” – is mission dependent on our ability?Read more
This is the sixth in a series of blogs on the Global Connections conference in May 2016, From Where I’m Sitting, where we sought to explore mission from different perspectives. You can listen to the talks on the Global Connections events page. I had the privilege to seek feedback on what was heard on the last morning and made a wide range of points.
My role at Global Connections means that I have to be rather a conference junky. As a network we are committed to people learning from each other, and the best way to do that is to bring people together. Fortunately I love meeting new people at the many diverse events that we facilitate.
As well as the many day events, every couple of years we hold a residential conference where it is easier to spend quality time with others. This May we tried to do something different in terms of those we asked to contribute. Entitled From Where I’m Sitting we sought to explore mission from different perspectives.
Trends in training for mission (and what happens if all the Bible colleges collapse?)
“For a long time, teachers in our seminaries have thought that if they teach students sound theology, Greek exegesis and church history, these students would begin to function like church leaders” (Perry Shaw, Transforming Theological Education, 2014)