Eddie and Sue Arthur

An Informal Bit of Research

When I’m not staring at┬ámy laptop desperately trying to think of something to write for this blog, I can often be found starting at my laptop desperately trying to think of something to write for some other publication. At the moment, I’m trying to get my head around a paper that I’m writing for a conference in a couple of months.

My theme is the “role of mission agencies” and I’d like to ask for some help from you, the good readers of Kouyanet.

Many of the traditional “mission fields” now have more Christians than the “traditional sending countries” and where the church is growing rapidly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, while declining in the West. With this in mind, I’d like to ask two questions:

  1. What is the role of mission agencies?
  2. Who should be responsible for deciding what their role is?

These aren’t trick questions, and the aim isn’t to indulge in some sort of point scoring exercise. I am genuinely interested in how people respond to this. If you have any thoughts about one or other of the questions, please comment below (or feel free to email me). I may, quote some of the remarks in my paper if they are apposite, but I’ll do so anonymously.

I’d be pathetically grateful if you could forward this on to any friends or colleagues (I’m especially interested in the views of church leaders) who might have views on the subject.


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2 Comments on “An Informal Bit of Research

  1. Mission agencies have in my opinion two great strengths: 1) they understand cross-cultural dynamics; 2) they are experienced with all the hassle of actually mobilising, sending and receiving people. This makes them uniquely placed to be centres of excellence for advising and facilitating the sending of mission workers from their own country AND the receiving of foreign mission workers into their country of operating. I see them ideally evolving into specialists advising and supporting sending churches rather than taking responsibility for sending people themselves.

  2. I think where there is an indigenous church then the local church on the ground should have primary say. Where the local church exists workers should be sent first and foremost to the local church not into a vacuum or a centre and then decide where they want to go. If it is to plant this should still be in partnership with local indigenous churches. This includes when missionaries go to trad sending fields like the US & UK. (no I’m a pastor in the UK)

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