Notes from Jonathan Rowe

Author: Jonathan Rowe.

Abstract:

In the next 25 issues it would be good to see something on the following topics, all of them important for the theory and practice of mission today.
1. Theological education is a priority for many mission agencies. What are the issues and trends? What are the challenges? Is it necessary? Or would church-based Bible training be better that formal, degree level training? Are they mutually exclusive? How are they linked?
2. There are some hard nuts to crack in the area of cross-cultural life as global Church – as some Anglican Bishops realised at the recent Lambeth conference. For example, what about pastoral care in mission (both care of mission/church workers and issues of different understandings of what pastoral care entails)? What about ethical conflicts that derive from different cultural contexts (i.e. agreement on what is good and evil, but not on the ordering of those goods and evils)? Or culturally specific leadership styles?
3. The ‘theology of religion’ is fundamental for understanding the way in which the Church proclaims (or avoids proclaiming) Jesus in its mission.
4. Discussion of the practical issues surrounding the role of men, women and families in mission could be very useful to both individuals and agencies.
5. We often pray for revival. But seem to have to struggle on in mission. What is the relationship between God’s work and our work in mission? How can one best persevere?
6. What about biblical issues from the NT as well as the OT? Or the influence of particular biblical books or theological themes (creation, resurrection) on our understanding of mission?
7. Vocation and mission. What it is; how to discern it; what to do next; how to help others (thinking of church or mission leaders).
8. And finally… why bother with cross-cultural mission at all? Why not stay at ‘home’? Would it be better if many more people did ministry in their native land? Why/ why not?

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