Cultural Intelligence is a crucial skill not just for short term mission teams, but for everyone in today's society.
A quote from Anthony Furey of the Edmonton Sun paper indicates the proportion of various perspectives within the muslim belief community. The high percentages surprised me to some extent, and I wonder what impacts this would have on our missional efforts, as well as on our response to certain...
To reach children cross-culturally, you must listen carefully to what your hosts need and adapt your ministry approach to the local context. Wherever possible, resource local teachers rather than do it for them.
Every year America receives new immigrants, and many are Muslim. These immigrants need our help and hospitality - help with English, help with the challenges of immigration, help with the struggles that come with adapting to a new culture.
As the CRCNA undertakes more of an active role in inter-religious dialogue in North America, we can learn a lot from our Christian and Muslim friends in Egypt. Egypt has a long history of Christian-Muslim interaction, and in the end, most Egyptians, whether Muslim or Christian, see themselves as Egyptians first.
When I was asked to join the steering committee for the 2008 Sea to Sea ride, I was skeptical. Hundreds of middle to upper income white folks taking the summer off of work to ride bicycles that cost more than some people make in a year was going to “end the cycle of poverty?”
It’s one thing to do things for people, or give things to people... but it’s a tremendously people-building thing to work with people to build self-reliance!
At World Renew we talk a lot about asset based community development; that is, discovering the assets that God has already placed in a community rather than focusing on perceived needs. This approach works with churches, too! What hidden assets might be in your church, just waiting to be deployed for missions?
In our enthusiasm for missional living, do we too often encourage people to “go all the way” without taking the time to first build a relationship with the neighborhood? In our desire to be missional, I wonder if have raced too quickly, too naively into bed with our neighbourhoods, without taking the time to really get to know each other ..
When Pope Benedict XVI decided to retire, I saw a number of Roman Catholic leaders, including several of the cardinals, interviewed about the kind of person who should be elected as the new Pope. A number of the interviewers thought that the new Pope ought to be a really good manager who could...
Over the past decade or so of working with churches, I've noticed a curious tendency for leaders to think of things in either/or terms. For example, "should we invest in local outreach OR global missions?" "Should our ministry focus on word OR deed?" "Should we reach out to get new members OR should we take care of our own members?" My answer to many of these questions is, "yes."
There’s lots of talk these days about church as institute vs church as organism. Conceptually I understand the difference, but in practice, I suspect it’s not so easy to separate the two. Which leads me to a bigger question, what exactly is “church?”
"There are so many things happening in this congregation in the last three months that the community is abuzz about who the new donor in town could be. But there is no donor—the people have just been woken up by the Gospel of Jesus Christ!"
While my wife and I were missionaries in West Africa, our children attended day care with a little girl named Jihad. At the time I thought it was a strange name (and this was before September 11, 2001, when Jihad entered the Western world’s lexicon). I have since learned that jihad, to put it simply, means struggle; any kind of struggle, but particularly a struggle for the faith. Jihad could include the struggle to get up in the morning, the struggle to resist a particularly tempting sin, or the armed struggle to defend Islam.
"Today is the anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that shook Port-au-Prince and its surrounding communes, killing hundreds of thousands and causing an untold number of injuries and massive loss of economic resources. For us it is a milestone, because we survived the earthquake which struck at 4:53 pm as we were eating an early supper on a Tuesday afternoon. Though our home didn't collapse and bury us, we were terrified and a little cut-up from all the broken glass and falling furniture.
"Being missional means that you no longer view missions as something done out there, something done in a foreign country, but instead something done in your backyard. For too long we’ve seen mission work as something done by other people in a foreign land, usually eating weird food and living in huts. For too long, evangelism was seen as calling people back to faith. But that’s a wrong misconception. In being missional, we are to be missionaries in our own worlds."
What can an evaluation of Christian Reformed World Missions' 90+ years of sending missionaries to Nigeria tell us about being a missionary today, right where we are?
As we drove down a lakeshore road en route to Lichinga, Mozambique, to meet with World Renew partner staff and interact with people on the frontline in health and HIV care in remote Cobue, I found myself drifting way back in time, reflecting on my life as a young girl in rural Malawi. I have specific memories of all the mission centers I lived in with my parents and siblings. A sense of peace swept over me, “peace which passes all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)
World Renew (formerly CRWRC) celebrated 50 years of ministry in 2012. In 2013, Christian Reformed World Missions will celebrate 125 years of ministry. That’s a long time! How is your church emphasizing missions these days? If you are looking for some up to date inspiration, here are some ideas:
As we wrap up our efforts for 2012 and get ready to plunge into the new year of church mobilization, what is most urgent to accomplish? What can we do that will make the greatest long-term impact for global advance? Ellen Livingood shares her priority lists for churches and agency mobilizers and would love to hear what’s on yours.
10. Church as Gift for Neighborhood TransformationThis post by Jay Van Groningen, Executive Director of Communities First Association, challenges churches to think of ways they can be an asset in their communities. While the focus of the article is North American churches, It strikes me that we have much to learn in this area from our global brothers and sisters in Christ.9. Loving Ishmael
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Peace. We hear the word a lot around Christmas. We talk about the Prince of Peace and we pronounce a blessing of peace on earth. But what is peacemaking? John Calvin explains that peacemakers “labor to settle differences among others, who advise all men ...
In just a few weeks I’ll be participating in an evaluation of Christian Reformed World Missions’ work in Nigeria. One of the questions we’ll be asking is, “Is there still a role for Western missionaries in Nigeria? If so, what should that role look like?”
In Acts 17:23-24 Paul makes reference to an altar with the inscription: “To an Unknown God.” Paul then proceeds to describe who that God is, as he has revealed himself through his Son Jesus Christ. In doing this Paul uses a bridge to the Gospel from another faith (in this case Greek polytheism).
I thought Jesus was a European God, but now I see that God is also an Asian God. He is for everyone. I have been transformed through the Good News.