Thursday, March 16, 2006

Missions in a global village

I have just returned from Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church where I was invited to be the guest speaker at their annual Missions Conference. At what proved to be a fascinating and informal event, all the missionaries were invited to speak to various questions put to them by the senior minister, Joe Novenson. All the missionaries were Americans (PCA/MTW).

Here are some of the observations they made to the question: "What do you wish that the American church understood?":

  • time is short and we should live with a view to eternity rather than for the accumulation of things here on earth

  • the church is not about being American

  • we are far too isolationistic and individualist

  • we need the community of the world-wide church as much as they need us; we have a great deal to learn from the church in the rest of the world

  • in a generation from now, the church in Asia and Africa will be far bigger and more influential than the church in the United States

  • stop putting missionaries on pedestals and start seeing them as ordinary Christians with temptations and struggles like the rest of the church

  • we need to be held accountable and it be wonderful if you would call us on the telephone once in a while and hold our feet to the fire

  • we want to know what's going in back home as much you want to know what's going on in the field of mission
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