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.
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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?
The uniting general council meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches is now history. It's hard to know what impact this merger will have on the mission effort of the 80 million Christians who belong to one of the member denominations. Concepts of mission certainly vary within and across denominational lines.
Although there is still much that North American churches can contribute to the world in terms of ministry among unreached peoples, leadership training, and the application of Christian worldview, there is also much that we can learn and receive from our brothers and sisters in the Majority World (Asia, Africa, and Latin America).
Pentecost is past; the school year is winding up; and summer is upon us. Before you know it fall will be here. Many churches have a mission emphasis celebration between mid-September and mid-November, and now is a good time to plan those events. The scope of mission emphasis celebrations runs all the way from prayer and the collection of Faith Promise pledges to a nine day period with four worship services and mid-week events that cover ...
The staff at Christian Reformed World Missions produces a number of materials on Pentecost and missions. We hope that local churches and mission committees are also exercising their creativity to inspire and remind their members to be involved in God's missions.
Dr. Randy Rowland has produced several articles on clustering that will be appearing over the next weeks here. I hope you will read them and that they will spark ideas and action as we seek to be a denomination that plants churches which help people meet the Lord Jesus.
You may have noticed an exchange in the "How is it?" suggestions section about the absence of local mission from this site. If not, I hope you take a look and offer your thoughts. At the risk of oversimplification I'll venture a few thoughts on the relation of local and global mission as a former pastor and a former missionary...