In the last two years mission in Europe has received unprecedented attention. But where is the continent on the cusp of 2017? The most dramatic aspect of Jim Memory’s (ECM & Redcliffe College) research into European history has been the recognition that for much of the last six hundred years Europe has been in one crisis after another. The relatively peaceful era since 1945 has been an exception and all of us who are living in Europe have benefitted from this. However, the recent past may not be a path for the immediate future. Why not?Read more
Our second new author Rachel Issitt shares her thoughts on Psalm 84.
Psalm 84 has personally become a theme and soundtrack to my life in recent years as my husband and I have pioneered a missions ministry. We have a vision to see thousands of younger generation Christ followers finding their calling, being sent from their local church into mission and yet we face the reality of financial restraint and small, but not insignificant, disappointments. The gulf between the vision and the reality can often seem embarrassing and yet we press on. I’m sure many can relate to this sentiment.Read more
We are very excited to introduce our new authors to you over the next few weeks. The first is Esther Ross, PA to the Operations Director here at Global Connections. Her post concerning refugees at her church is insightful and should lead us to heartfelt prayer for equality, dignity and responsibility. See below for the post…
I was grabbed recently by something in a piece of literature put through my front door. Unusual, I know. It was a prayer diary for the Middle East. In it I found a prayer for government officials to return to displaced peoples equality, dignity and responsibility. Lack of these things, or violent suppression thereof, in many countries is the very reason many refugees are fleeing in their droves. And it really got me thinking.Read more
“What did you make of what Eddie Arthur was saying on his Kouya blog about Mission Boards lacking theologians?’
‘I don’t normally read his blog, but someone showed that one to me. I couldn’t really see his point. All my board members are evangelical Christians, but I didn’t select them for their theological acumen. There are other skills that we need on our board.’
‘ I thought it was useful. We have one theological college lecturer on our Board and he often asks questions that the rest of us don’t think about. He reminds us that we are not just like any other UK charity, but rather carrying out the mandate from our Lord.’
‘ But what has that got to do with good governance? It is not something that the Charity Commissioners are concerned about. We spend all our time making sure that we are compliant and continually solvent. We also need to keep an eye on what our CEO is doing. We haven’t time for theology!’
In 1991, David Bosch wrote a book that many consider to be one of the most important theologies of mission of our age; Transforming Mission. In the introduction, Bosch asserted that mission is facing crisis because of massive changes in the church and the wider world. He suggested six ways in which this crisis manifests itself (though he does not claim that the list is exhaustive).
- The advance of science and technology, and the worldwide process of secularisation.
- The slow but steady de-Christianistion of the West.
- The fact that the world can no longer be divided into “Christian” and “non-Christian” spheres.
- Western guilt for racism and colonialism, leading to an unwillingness to engage in mission.
- The increasing gap between the rich and the poor.
- The reaction against over-academic Western theology in many parts of the church.
This is the last 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.
Why does Jesus call us?
Perhaps we’ve never really pondered that question before. We might initially think of reasons such as he needs us to be witnesses, to serve him, to worship him, to pray to him on behalf of others. And all these would be valid activities and not a waste of our time. And some of us have particular callings to these activities. But they’re not the primary reason why Jesus called us. Read more
My prior blog suggested that a missionary’s commitment to the people they are reaching ought to be for life. I now want to consider – what if the people concerned do not want the missionary?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 seventh 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.Read more