One of the problems of being a bloke in his sixties who has been involved in mission work and leadership in various parts of the world is that I’ve seen it all before…
To any wannabe missionaries out there; a good, prayerful, supportive home-church is absolutely vital to your work. Build up those links and don’t think you can do it on your own.
If there is a future for mission from the West, it will be shaped by those who are in their twenties and thirties today. We cannot assume that they will neatly follow in the organisational footsteps of earlier generations. Maybe they will, but I wouldn’t take it for granted.
Barnabas took Mark and disappeared from Luke’s narrative, but he entered our future marking the path for those who would be the disciples of Jesus. That path requires trust – sometimes, often times, almost every time – of those who are marked by failure in relationship.
In the long-run, it is issues such as partnership and the ability to be reflective which will determine the future fruitfulness of an agency, not its balance sheet.
Mission agencies have to submit annual reports which meet certain government standards. I have my own suggestions of what I would like them to contain.
To translate into the vernacular is therefore to recognize the significance of the local idiom; the prosaic. “In the people’s tongue lay the jewel of great price.”
Good, critical feedback on a mission agency’s activities should be absolutely central to any decision making by boards and leadership in the UK. Getting this feedback isn’t easy and it means much more than listening to the people who benefit from what you do. However, if local people are not helping set your agenda, then you are doing something very wrong.
Some mission agencies are doing very well, others rather badly.
If we were serious about the idea that mission is God’s activity and not ours, we would be much less precious about organisational boundaries.