What are the main issues for mission today? During the meetings of the Mission Commission Global Leadership Council several trends impacting the Church and its mission were detected and discussed. Out of a larger number, four of them were chosen as particularly crucial and strategic for the MC and needing urgent response from the Evangelical mission movements:
1. The messiness in mission will continue to increase
This trend is the product of a whole lot of factors including: individualism, a multiplicity of definitions; structures and methods; accessibility of information; generational and cultural divides; and brokenness.
2. Continuous power shifts
Power will continue to shift in our complex, globalised, interconnected, interdependent world, following the control of finances, skills, information flows and as economies grow and decline in different parts of the world. This will create neo-colonialism and a new kind of control in different parts of the world.
3. Religious persecution will intensify and diversify
There is a need to establish a grass root effort to network those who have suffered persecution/are suffering persecution to speak to the global church how to prepare to follow Christ faithfully and missionally in the midst of suffering and how to care of those who at present are suffering.
4. Global resources will continue to decline.
Consequence: world mission and our churches will be impacted all over the world in a variety of ways, along with all other social/human structures.
For each of these trends there are significant consequences for mission movements and the MC is planning specific action points for reflection and production of materials related to these themes.
The question in my mind is, what are the specific challenges that you face in your life and ministry and how these mega trends affect your particular situation? Our desire as MC is to continue highlighting relevant issues that may be important for us all. The latest production of the MC, the book Sorrow & Blood – Christian Mission in Context of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom, is certainly one good example that we take these trends seriously.
Welcome with your thoughts and suggestions!