What are the key topics shaping world missions efforts today? What ideas are being talking about by people involved in global missionary strategy and practice?
Check out these brief (500 words or less) articles or reflections on topics or themes relevant to global missions. These were published as a series or regular column in Engage magazine, the online missions magazine or ezine of Nazarene Missions International
- Three selfs: Necessary qualities for local churches In the late 1800s missiologists Henry Venn and Rufus Anderson began talking about three characteristics a church-planting movement would have if it were truly indigeneous: Self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating.
- Redemptive analogies-- Missionaries noticed a people group's peace-making practice was strangely similar to God's gift of His Son, and used this "redemptive analogy" to explain the gospel.
- "Where the Church is not yet" The term "unreached people groups" has been around for a while. Now global mission strategists are talking about some of those unreached people groups being "unengaged people groups." Whilesome unreached people groups have missionary organizations evangelizing among them, unengaged people groups currently have no evangelists or missionaries working in their midst.
- Contextualization When Christianity moves from one culture to another, there is danger that it will be thought of as belonging in the first culture, but very much out of place in the second one. The soloution to that is good contextualization.
- Infinitely reproducible Paul Orjala, pioneer Nazarene missionary to Haiti, urged future missionaries to use infinitely reproducible as one criterion for assessing patterns of evangelism and church planting. He felt the key to actually fulfilling the Great Commission was to use structures and modes of organizing and developing that could be reproduced over and over again.
- Be a sender More global missionaries are needed. However, ten times or more as many supporters are needed to send and sustain them. Being a sender is just as important as being a go-er.
- Mission fit Missionaries need to focus on those ministry activities that "fit" their mission. On the local, district, regional and global levels, we must be prayerfully asking: Is what we are doing and how we are doing it consistent with the objective of making Christlike disciples in the nations?
- Globalization Globalization -- sometimes defined as a flow of ideas, goods, images and people across national borders -- is not a new phenomenon. It can be seen as early as the book of Genesis. God's people must find their way to share His love among the shifting tides of globalization today. Indeed, the church itself is an active agent in globalization.
- 10/40 Window Luis Bush called attention to an area of the global where there are large concentrations of unreached people groups. With just 10 percent of the current global Christian missionary force deployed to that area where many of the world's least evangelized peoples live, we have much work to do.
- Culture Shock Missionaries and others living for extended periods of time in a culture not their own experience a roller coaster of feelings of alienation, anxiety, disorientation, and uneasiness.
- Motivation Over time, many of us lose our urgency for God's mission to reach those who don't yet know Him. What can we do to stir the embers of our concern for the lost into a healthy fire?
- Missionary A plea to look at the word "missionary" in the light of Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4
Brief articles on key missionaries from the past who shaped the practice of world outreach even today
Essay: The Church as Missionary: Biblical Foundations
Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma
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