Analysts have concluded that the notion of ‘multi-culturalism’ led to Britain looking more like a ‘community of communities’. Since then the government was still getting to grips with the routine levels of immigration when emergency migration to Europe began. It seemed to destroy any hope of healthy inclusion. Since then the debate is over what we should be aiming for – “integration” or “social cohesion”? What is the difference and is either actually achievable? Read more
18 years ago, I began my journey into HR and member care in a mission organisation in Nepal. I thought it would be a walk in the park compared to HR in the NHS. Surely there would be no workplace disputes or team issues?! How wrong I was. However, I’m clearly not the only one who recognises that conflict is alive and causing dysfunction in mission today, given the full house at the recent GC Member Care Forum which looked at ‘Differences and Disagreements’.
I admit to a degree of smug enjoyment when teaching a class on missions and asking the class what they think are important tools that God has given us to do mission. (I try and reward the students with chocolate). There are multiple answers but there is one answer I’m waiting for in particular: food. Yes, food is incredibly important in doing mission.Read more
This is the second post in what may become a series on famous sayings about Christian mission (the first one is here). This quote by Smith is one that turns up in lots of missionary writing and at first glance it seems to make sense, but like many things that make sense at first glance, it is actually rather problematic.Read more
Reclaiming our Imagination
It is said once you reach 40 the imaginative side of your brain begins to die and life is increasingly navigated from the bearings of previous experience. In my 20’s I was very hopeful about my personal future impact on mission and had a tremendous vision to see thousands of churches and individuals taking their place in the Great Commission. With youth and inexperience I charted out an adventurous course which saw some modest successes and many deflating disappointments. I am now 39; this is not necessarily a scary age when I will suddenly deplete in personal vision and begin to live out of set programming. Yet I see the potential to lose my fire and passion for the Great Commission as the self talk of so called ‘maturity’ informs me of what supposedly can and can’t be realistically achieved.Read more
When we think of multi-cultural teams it is often tempting to focus on nationality or heart language, but there are also many other factors that contribute to the cultures that individuals bring into a team, like ecclesiology, socio-economic background, gender, marital status, level of education and generation. These all affect the often-unconscious assumptions people bring to how things should be done, and what is valued.Read more
Last Thursday the Global Connections Council met for its twice yearly meeting to think and pray about the future. As I retire from GC in June, it was my last time with them. I had the privilege of sharing some thoughts about the last 13 years and my time here. My successor Anna Bishop was there and it was great to think through together some of the many challenges that she will face over the coming months and years.
If you want to shut someone up, give them money. Once you have given someone money, don’t expect them to tell you the truth.
If the above is true, then how should today’s Western donor-missionaries discern the truth of what is happening on the mission field, especially how people are understanding their message?Read more