"An incomplete manifesto for cross-cultural
missions in the emerging post-modern culture"
The is an incomplete
document that gets added to from time to time. I'm glad there are a lot
of folks around the world who are changing the way things were done.
Make getting to know people more important than doing your program.
Start building friendships
Go meet a brother or sister in Christ from Zimbabwe or Mongolia or somewhere
else. They may even be living next door. The world is small enough, what
are you waiting for.
See the Body of Christ
The Church is worldwide. Few countries may claim they are without a witness.
If we ignore where the church is and move ahead with our own agenda, seeking
to plant our own kind of churches, we are not discerning the body of Christ.
Risk getting in trouble with establishment
Jesus got in trouble because he was hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Be like him.
Be in tune with the global culture
In Bangkok, Berlin and Brazzaville they're listening to the same music,
watching the same movies and buying the same clothes. Discern what ties
the world together and subvert when necessary.
Let information flow...
We live in the age of networks. The structure of a network serves one
purpose - facilitate the flow of information. Therefore structures like
church buildings, mission agencies ect. should be flexible and scaleable
always serving the flow of information.
The problem with
modern missions is exactly that...
A new world demands new ways of doing things. In the last 200 years the
good news of Jesus Christ has spread around the world, catching a ride
on the ships that would extend empires. We need to rethink missions in
light of today's world. The times have changed and missions must follow.
Stop seeing missions
as an adventure
Seeing different countries is fun. You take a few photos of famous places
then return home and say, "I was there." Cross-cultural mission
isn't adventure. It isn't about conquering unknown worlds.
Start seeing missions
Throw out the idea of a short-term mission and jump into the idea of a
pilgrimage. Give and receive, teach and learn.
is dead, why do we still propagate it?
The Colonial Empires were built on the assumption that their way of life
was the 'right way'. By going to other lands and peoples and teaching
them about the 'right way' they were making them civilized. It also meant
that the homeland would be enriched by the natural resources discovered
in far away places. An overly simplistic view? Probably. Far from the
truth of what churches and missions agencies do in the name of the Gospel?
Less than we'd like to think.
Too often the 'right way' is our culturally biased theology and forms
of church. The natural resources are the souls that we win. The result
is churches warped by an ideal that is not theirs and overly dependant
on the 'homeland'.
Banish the terms
of 'mission fields' and 'sending countries'
Those terms are just nice ways of saying 'colony' and 'homeland'.
Give out of your
The Bible is clear, some have a lot others have little. We are all to
give out of our abundance.
Start asking, 'What
is our weakness?'
If we accept that we are called to give out of our abundance then we need
to accept that we must receive something because of our weakness.
Money isn't the
only thing we can give and receive
The abundance and need talked about in the Bible is not a financial equation.
The model is that of Christ who out of his riches gave to us... Maybe
we have needs that only the believers in France or China can meet...
Figure out ways of learning about your weaknesses and finding other parts
of the Body of Christ that can meet your need.
Get behind the
Support and lift of those you are working with. Make a name for them and
Work through existing
If the Body of Christ is present, help it. Don't start something new that
is already being done.
Never think that God is not at work, sometimes you just can't see what
he is doing. Take the time to wait and see what he is up to.
Get the missionary
out of the middle
Missionaries have and important role but when they become the only channel
of information from one part of the Body to another, you're in trouble.
Learn a foreign
Show some respect for the Body of Christ. Don't expect everyone to learn
things that others can do
Being a part of the Body means everyone has a function. Know yours.
Stop doing things
out of necessity and guilt
God invites us to work with him. Do what he wants, when he wants and you'll
find life a whole lot more enjoyable.