All Nations Christian College, UK, 12th to 15th September 2021
Vulnerable Mission: English and Dollars Powering Ministry, Good Idea?
We urge some missionaries to practice their ministry using the languages and resources of the people they are reaching. This will honour the indigenous. It is a Christ-like starting point for sharing the Gospel in contextualized ways.
We will be discussing issues such as:
• Practicalities and ramifications of use of indigenous languages by Western missionaries.
• How does translation to and from an indigenous language affect missionary work?
• While finances are needed for mission work, how can one ensure that finances do not dominate?
• What good practices are there to ensure a missionary remains vulnerable in their local context?
• How to engage in mission without exuding (excessive) power.
• What organisational structures enable vulnerability on the side of Western missionaries on the ground.
• What help can we offer churches who want to engage directly in cross cultural mission to avoid pitfalls of power.
• Tentmaking and business as mission models that leave the Westerner vulnerable. (Can the commercial world engage in mission without promoting ‘evils’ of capitalism?)
• When the uneven spread of wealth is itself an injustice, how can one use one’s surplus to enact global justice.
• How can mission agencies promote vulnerability, when dominant models of understanding presented by a vast global media are rooted in positivism and liberalism?
• Is vulnerability the key to contextualisation?
• Theology traditionally draws strongly on metaphor. However local metaphors from the majority world are unfamiliar to the Westerner, and vice versa. How can one then engage in theology interculturally?
• Where politics and ‘religion’ are not separate categories, missionaries need to be careful not to get bogged down in unanticipated conflicts.
• Is miracle a post-enlightenment category? Is ‘magic’ a normal aspect of life? What does this imply for cross cultural missionary engagement?
• Does the introduction of outside technology result in exploitation and enslavement? or liberation?
• Globalisation as a force that cripples the periphery. How can the voices of those at the periphery be heard, and their dignity guarded?
• When short-term mission has become poverty-tourism intended to adorn facebook pages with images of charity – what is the way forward?
• Can Westerners relate to non-Western missionaries without dominating them?
• The bible is God’s inspired book, but theological training is dominated by Western curricula. Are there alternative paradigms for local-context training of Christian workers?
This will be a three-day residential conference. It will be held in the English country house at the attractive rural location of the UK’s premier missionary training college, near Ware in Hertfordshire. Full cost will be £300, or early bird (before June 1) £260.