There is no doubt that the paradigm of mission today is changing. Mission takes place „from everywhere to everywhere‟ (Escobar, 2003, p14), and Europe itself has become the focus of missionary effort for Christians from the Global South (Cueva, n.d., p3). Many larger churches send missionaries without reference to mission agencies, and the length of time people spend „on the field‟ is shorter than before, with anything more than two years being perceived as long term (Miles, 2000, p9).
This research was inspired by attending a meeting of mission mobilisers where the topic under consideration was „inspiring 18-30 year olds to live a missional lifestyle‟. As I drove home that afternoon, several thoughts struck me:
• If mission agencies are promoting a „missional lifestyle‟ in order to attract 18-30 year olds (also known as Generation Y) to their agency, or to become involved in overseas mission, what will happen if Generation Y think a missional lifestyle is something different?
• Depending on their theological point of view, each person may have had a different perception of the meaning of „missional‟.
• Most of the people in the room were over 30 and so not Generation Y. Differences in perceptions of a missional lifestyle may be due not only to theological perspectives, but generational differences.
I felt it was time to hear from Generation Y themselves in order to understand their perceptions of a missional lifestyle.
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