How do we do mission in our divided and wounded world today? Addressing this crucial issue in global mission, Kirsteen Kim, Associate Dean for the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, reflects on lessons learned from the three significant centenary events: Edinburgh 2010, Cape Town 2010, and Tokyo 2010, in ‘Beyond Edinburgh 2010: Where is mission a decade after the centenary of Edinburgh 1910?’ For understanding ‘the many different facets of mission and world Christianity today’, she offers helpful resources such as the book series that emerged from Edinburgh 2010, which collectively provides ‘a wide cross-section of mission thinking in the early twenty-first century.’ She hopes that these resources could ‘inform and support mission in the wounded world of the 2020s.’
At the conclusion of Edinburgh 2010, a statement was issued known as ‘The Edinburgh 2010 Common Call’ which ‘expresses the strong sense of global interconnectedness through the Holy Spirit, leading to “mutuality, partnership, collaboration, and networking”.’ This would resonate with Kirst Rievan, a leader in Asia and Pacific for a global, faith-based development organization. There has been a seismic shift in mission operation in the 21st century. The epicentre of the global church has moved from the West to the majority world. In this new context, Kirst, in the article ‘Are Foreigners Still Needed in the Age of Indigenous Mission?’, argues that the role of mission workers from the West to the non-Western world has changed from ‘actor’ to ‘facilitator’, ‘initiator’ to ‘catalyst’, ‘family-head’ to ‘guest’, and ‘hero’ to ‘enabler’. Supported by examples of approaches and strategies as outsiders, he is convinced that collaborative partnership between the locals and expats holds the key to a successful new mission paradigm.
Another type of partnership is also vital for the gospel to bring healing to our broken world. It is the partnership between men and women as powerfully illustrated by Chad and Leslie Neal Segraves, Co-Catalysts for Men and Women in Partnership for the Gospel, in ‘Five Biblical Commands for Men and Women Partnering in the Gospel’. Through the lens of God’s first five commands in Genesis 1, they ‘examine key trends of male-female partnership’, expose common oppositions hindering such partnerships, and offer practical suggestions for overcoming the barriers, so that these commands could be lived out ‘in a way that honors Christ and benefits society.’ Included in the article are inspiring examples of fruitful disciples-making in different regions of the world church as a result of such partnerships—ordinary men and women together using their skills to impact culture and society wherever God has sent them.
Strengthening male-female partnership paves the way for preventing gender-based violence against women. In ‘Gender-Based Violence and the Church’, Analia Saracco, Director of Chaplaincy of The Instituto Teologico FIET (International Faculty of Theological Education), speaks out boldly against prevalent violence against women, both in the society and the church. The root causes are often in our discourses and ideologies. She issues clear warnings of how churches could become facilitators of gender-based violence, intentionally or unintentionally, and highlights three key actions to prevent such violence in the church: ‘transforming beliefs at the leadership level’, ‘reflecting equality in a concrete way in the daily life of the church’, and ‘reviewing the presence of gender-based issues in liturgical celebrations.’
May all our words and deeds, including our mission principles and practices, transform our fragmented church and disintegrated world through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lausanne Global Analysis is also available in Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Please send any questions and comments about this issue to [email protected]. The next issue will be released in September 2021.