Emerging Themes in Mission A survey and summary

Author: Jonathan Ingleby is a co-editor of Encounters and Postgraduate lecturer in mission at Redcliffe College.

Abstract:

As those of you who have read the Editorial will have gathered, this paper is based on the contributions of mission leaders and thinkers who were asked to comment on the first twenty-five editions of Encounters and to suggest future possible themes to be treated by the journal. Out of these contributions I have selected a number of key ideas which I judge reflect the main concerns of those who responded. Minor themes are also listed. Of course the list of current interests and concerns is made up of items that are uniquely the choice of the twenty three respondents. Also it is a list compiled in the Summer of 2008. The same exercise undertaken by a historian of mission trying to take a longer view might come up with very different results. Equally, in five years time other pressing issues will almost certainly have forced their way onto the mission agenda.
Nevertheless I commend this exercise to you. I am convinced that we are not doing enough mission reflection, that we are not listening enough to each other, and that we are often woefully ignorant of issues that we need to grasp simply because they are affecting world mission in significant ways sometimes without our even noticing it.
Here then are my main themes, with some comment under each heading largely drawn from the emails and letters sent by the respondents themselves. The list is in no particular order. I have put in some cross references to the individual contributions listed as Notes from… but ideally these should be read as they stand to get the full flavour of the responses.

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