Posts Tagged ‘Outreach’

9/11 Ground Zero Muslim Community Center

August 25, 2010

I do my best to keep this blog focused on missiology. Here is a missiological debate foiled by politics, pain and many quick judgments. The situation with the possibility of burning Korans on the upcoming 9/11 date in response to a muslim community center being built in the vicinity of “ground zero” is a hot issue right now. My overall view is that we are called to love and forgiveness first.  Here is a recent post I read concerning these issues:


Mission Movements – Reflections from the 1200’s-1400’s

February 5, 2010

Thinking and reading about mission/renewal movements within the Catholic church pre-Reformation (another renewal movement with tremendous success.)

The following is Dr. Paul Pierson (Fuller Theological Seminary) through his book, Dynamics of Christian Mission

“new mission movements are nearly always initiated by key leaders – men or women who have gone dep in thier life iwth God and consequently felt His heartbeat for the world and then have communicated their vision to other” (p.108)

“mission and renewal movements virtually always arise on the periphery of the boarder Church.  Often, but not always, they are lead by laypersons.” (p.109)

“The historical reality is that every movement, no matter how it began, will become institutionalized and fall into the danger of losing its original vision and vitality.  None is exempt from that danger.” (p.109)

“Often a movement of renewal or mission makes theological rediscoveries … and are often accompanied by new patterns of leadership selection and training.” (p.112)

“a missiological entrepreneur is one whose vision goes beyond that of the dominant Church and mission structures of the time, and who consequently creates new movements to implement the vision.” (p.118)

Examples he gives: Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, Samuel Mills, Hudson Taylor, Cameron Townsend, Ralph Winter.  On top of his preceding list I would add: Donald McGavarn, the reformation leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as others.

Good stuff.  Continue the conversation with me.

The Flying Man Pt 3: The Legacy of Love in China by Rick Wood

December 20, 2008

(Read the original article published in the Nov/Dec edition of Mission Frontiers magazine)

This short article gives a basic overview of mission history in China. I have two main reflections:

1) Wood borrowed a substantial amount of material from the online user-defined encyclopedia, Wikipedia. How amazing that this work is now being published in articles. It used to be that Wikipedia (online resources in general) were seen as unreliable and not scholarly enough to quote. Now it is beginning to be used more widely. A university recently did a study on the reliability and truthfulness of Wikipedia and found it to be more reliable and accurate than the Encyclopedia Britannica. Amazing.

2) Onto the content of the article itself. I knew that missionary work in many places not only evangelized, but also served the people through practical means. Wood argues that both the educational and medical systems in China can attribute their foundation of these missionary endeavors. I do not believe that at this point in time China would not on its own model the current Western educational and medical systems; however I did not know that it was missionaries serving the Chinese people in the 19th and early 20th centuries that introduced sciences and pharmaceutical medicine to China.

What do you think / hear about going on today concerning mission work abroad? Do workers adequately serve the people through development? Is evangelism without service all unreached people groups need? How can we best glorify God and serve primarily Him in this context?

Frontier vs. Regular

January 6, 2008

Missions is a term that can be thrown around easily. Missions is now exchanged for the term “evangelism” and “outreach”. Missions is a budget in the church that goes far too wide and far too shallow. Missions is not just a sector or ministry in the church. Missions IS the purpose of the church. As the church universal we are commanded to take the gospel to where it is currently not. The reason for and the purpose of the church is to worship Christ with everything and bring more worshipers to Christ. It is out of God’s passion for His glory that missions exists (read John Piper’s “Let the Nations Be Glad.” )

A few years back I had thought the division was between lost and saved people here and around the world, and the church just gets people to come to Him wherever they are. The first time I heard about Christ was when I was 15. I knew where churches were, I just wasn’t interested to find out what they were all about. I thought that is how it is all over, churches out there but individuals decide to go or not.

I never realized that there were whole groups of people separated from God, who have no access to His gospel. I found out that there were places where there were no churches. That there were places that people didn’t have the bible translated in their language, places where people are actively searching for someone to tell them the greatest story told, but no one has ever told them. This changed everything.

Missiologists have termed it reached and unreached. Come to find out there are whole sectors of culture termed people groups that are characterized by this reached and unreached zones.

Based on this, here are some definitions:
“missions” that is within our country is called evangelism
“missions” outside our country that is among reached peoples is regular missions
“missions” outside our country that is among unreached peoples is frontier missions

Here are some statistics to make things more real:

  • There are an estimated 24,000 people groups
  • 10,000 of these are considered unreached (most located in 10/40 window)
  • Of our mission personnel, 85% serve in regular missions while only 15% serve in frontier areas
  • Of our finances, 95% of our church dollars goes straight back to us, sending 5% out to missions out side of our country
    • of our missions budget, 90% goes to regular missions with only 10% going to frontier missions
    • Totaled: 99.5% of our money goes to reached areas where people have access to the gospel while 0.5% goes to places that otherwise have no opportunity to hear

I think the church needs to put a little more thought as to what missions is, and what our focus should be. Of course all of these areas are good targets for ministry, but if we are going to focus on missions lets truely and strategically put our efforts into completing the Great Commission.

I leave you with the words of the greatest missionary:

thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”
-Romans 15:20-21