Patrick Nabwera has posted a guest piece on Ben’s blog which is well worth reading. He gets to the heart of one of the most critical issues in world mission today:
Recognizing the shifts in Christianity to the global south (Andrew Walls, etc.), many are saying that it is Africa’s time for missions. This can mean two things. It can be a claim that Africa (along with Asia and Latin America) need to become the main players in missions while players from the “West” retire, give way, or merely become supportive. Some insinuate that current mission structures are outdated. Others feel like the only thing they need from the West is financial support. For those of us who prescribe to a theology of the kingdom where God has distributed his diverse gifts on all continents, this view is misguided. God expects every continent and people to put their gifts into the “mission basket”. Creation reminds us that all things belong to God. In serious war time, patriotic citizens give their all without caring what someone else is contributing. (This is only true for those patriots who love their country more than themselves, fame, and popularity—).
Saying that it is Africa’s time for missions can also mean (and this is my view) that it is time for the potential in Africa (personnel, resources, skills, ideas, strategies, and even the often “unbalanced or misunderstood spirituality”) to be added to the “missions basket”. This implies that everyone contributes fully to missions. It is not a question of some retiring while the others take over. (read more).