Today in South Africa 4,000 mission leaders are gathered to dream and plan for how to complete the task of world evangelization. Most of them are Africans, Asians or Latin Americans, demonstrating that God has changed the face of world Christianity in the last century. Among the speakers at this conference is Ruth Padilla DeBorst, a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions.
Several years ago Pastor Dan Ackerman made a statement that really struck me. He said that today short term missions is what Catechism instruction was: our basic method of discipleship. Short term mission trips went from being an oddity, to an add-on, to something integral to the process of raising our young people as Christians. How do we make the most of them?
What is a denominational missions agency supposed to do? When they began the idea was that all the international mission effort of the congregations was to be channeled through their denominational agency. And it worked a lot like that for many years, but times have changed. These days congregations of all denominations are doing lots of ministry through lots of agencies and directly. In response to this Christian Reformed World Missions has
Christian Reformed World Missions and CRWRC provide a series of webinars whose presenters come with a variety of expertise but under the heading of Global Mission. By using the internet and an 800 number, you can engage in this learning community free.
Interest in missions seems to vary considerably by generation. For many in the Builder Generation (born 1928-45) missions was seen growing up as an exotic activity done by a few spiritual giants. For many Millennials (born 1982 and after), it is something that they do, not that they support financially. OK, those are caricatures, but they do bear some resemblance to reality, right? Several people recently have talked to me with deep concern about missions committees at churches with which they are familiar.
During 2009, I personally interviewed fifty leaders of large churches that were effectively engaged in global missions. These are eight trends that I believe will shape the future of missions.
As we begin to think of the heart and scope of the Gospel and embracing a missional understanding of the church, the ramifications for the local church will be subtle but significant.
Many churches which have done a number of short term missions trips have been struggling with some common questions. "We have done construction or other tasks. Is there more? Is there a way for us to develop a relationship with another church or community? What are the pitfalls to avoid and the opportunities to embrace in doing joint ministry? What about serving together in a third location?
Andy Crouch, executive producer for the Global Conversation video series, sat down with two men whose churches have nurtured twenty years of partnership in mission, Chapel Hill Bible Church in the United States and the Nairobi Chapel church network in Kenya.
This paper comes out of personal experience and observation of missionaries of many nationalities working with West Africans who are Muslim Background Believers, in several Sahelian, francophone, predominantly Muslim countries (Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Guinea.)
Here is a summary of an in depth research paper written by Roland Hoksbergen about how North-South NGO partnerships contribute to development.