Author: Rob Hay, Principle of Recliffe College


A well respected mission leader from an international, conservative mission agency was speaking to a group of international non-American students preparing for mission. He spoke for an hour on the challenges of mission at the start of the 21st century covering many of the far-reaching and important issues but he chose to finish with a comment that surprised all those present.

I want to encourage all of you to study hard, to continue reflecting and become missiologists regardless of your role, because one of the greatest challenges and opportunities offered today is that British missiology needs to become strong enough to tame American missiology.

At the start of the year a newspaper column brought me back to considering his words anew: “The forum was therefore a long barrage of American-led interventions, whose participants … were unable to hear a different, European, perspective …1” These words were spoken about the Davos Economic Forum but could it equally be said of missiological gatherings today? Jonathan Ingleby suggests that historically at least it was often the case (see Europe, Britain and America: extracting a European voice from the historical debate about mission).

When we started Encounters it was with an explicit aim of giving space for UK-based reflection on missiological issues…

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