A people groups’ strategy for mission: time to move on (Issue 1 – August 2004)

Issue 1 Editor: Dr Jonathan Ingleby peopleof various cultures

I was recently asked to give a lecture at an event organised by EZA Holland (the Dutch EMA).  Most of what I had to say had to do with the global impact on local communities and what I felt this meant for mission today.  One particular issue I tried to address was the new thinking that needs to be done about ‘people groups’.  Here is a brief extract from my lecture notes.

Too many of our mission strategies today are based on the ‘people group’ pattern.  This clearly had its value, particularly in freeing us from our Eurocentric models, but it is an inadequate model for today’s world.  It owes too much to the idea of cultural purity and pays too little attention to the phenomenon I have just described [the mixed or ‘hybrid’ nature of communities today].  Similarly, in terms of training, the old patterns inherited from cultural anthropology – discrete cultures studied in depth – will have to be revised (postcolonial studies may help us here).  In race, culture, and identity we are becoming an increasingly hybrid world.  Mission cannot afford to ignore that fact.

The full text of my lecture ‘Globalisation, glocalisation and mission’ is available as a download, as is another piece specifically critiquing the predominance of ‘people group’ thinking in missiology today.

Do you agree that that it is time to scrap the ‘people groups’ approach as an organising concept for mission?  Is it time to close the 10/40 window?

Globalisation, glocalisation and mission.
(Dr Jonathan Ingleby, 3307 words)  PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
People groups and the missionary task of the church.
(Dr Jonathan Ingleby, 1603 words) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion

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