Training people for mission in Europe today

Author: Richard Tiplady, British Director, European Christian Mission.

Abstract:

This paper isn’t meant to be definitive regarding training for every type of mission work in every different European context, but to act as a “starter for ten” (which is of course a very UK-specific reference, but, hey, that’s why we have Google).
So what kind of people make good missionaries in Europe, and what kind of training can help to prepare them?
1. European religions and spirituality
It’s a mistake to assume that the historic versions of Christianity found in Europe (Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and the many flavours of Protestantism) are monolithic. Spanish Catholicism is different to that practiced in Poland, and that is different again to the German version. Of course there are similarities, but the religion as it is actually practised takes on very local flavours (a bit like the French concept of terroir1 with wine). Throw in a secular overlay, and a dash of non-Western religious influence, and missionaries need to understand how Europeans practise their faith, not just what the guidebooks say.

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