At least once a week I hear the phase about mission being “from everywhere to everywhere” and yet when I explored this issue last year, it appeared that mission training in most places was still working on the model of “from the West to the rest”.
Who was preparing people from the global South, who we hear are arriving in Europe in ever-increasing numbers to “do mission”? Who was preparing people from Europe wanting to prepare for mission among their own people? And just as important – if they are being prepared – how are they being prepared?
In mission training we have, for a long time now, rightly emphasised contextualisation but what was the cultural context in Europe, what was the religious context and what was the mission agency context? The answer to those questions was not readily available, and so how could we properly prepare people without getting a clear understanding of some fundamental aspects of the European “mission field”?
Asking questions like these led me to organise a consultation on what was needed to prepare people for mission in Europe. Here we share several papers and some of the early outcomes from that gathering. It is the first few miles of what is likely to be a long journey in the years ahead, but I invite you to travel with us, share your own experience and help us make sense as we reflect on this.
Book Review 1: Living as People of Hope: Faith, Hope & Vision for 21st Century Europe.
(By Jeff Fountain; Initialmedia)
Book Review 2: Faith and New Frontiers: A Story of Planting and Nurturing Churches, 1823-2003.
(By Brian Underwood; Intercontinental Church Society)