Over the years, I’ve attended numerous international missions’ conferences, some of which were very helpful, and some less so. There are a couple of things that these conferences have in common; they are very expensive to run and they all involve a lot of air travel. Neither of which are ideal.
Christianity has always spread organically through movements of people. The “professional” mission movement has been a catalyst to the spread of the faith, but it has only ever been a part of a much larger whole.
The challenge that agencies face is to discern how Jesus is building his global church in this new world and to understand how their unique organisations fit into what he is doing. The danger is that they will work hard to maintain traditional structures and ways of doing things and miss out on what the Lord is doing.
“While the Western mission enterprise has played a significant role in the more recent spread of the gospel, changes in its assumptions and practices are long overdue and absolutely necessary.” But…
People will probably see this blog post as pessimistic; I just see it as realistic. The Church in the UK has to prepare for living in a very different reality to the one we face today.