At various times all missionaries have taken part in a mission’s conference. It probably included participants from various evangelical denominations as well. And over the days of the week the representatives from the various missions have discussed strategies, budgets, and programs.
On still other occasions some of us have taken part in larger conferences where the leaders of the missions and church committees come together with plenary sessions, workshops, seminars and prayer groups. The staff, speakers, and representatives represented a cross-section of the present day thinking on mission strategies and programs.
I have found that during the course of such meetings the emphasis is upon evangelization and the planting of churches amongst the masses of people in the cities. I have even heard statements like “God is moving His people to the cities,” with demographic studies cited to support the goal of reaching the masses. Claims such as, “Eighty percent of the world will live in urban settings by the year 2000,” give emotional and statistical support to urban work.
There are many theories on how language came about and they can be divided into two main groups: 1) those who believe that it evolved from the primates to humankind; 2) those who believe that God created humankind with language innate and intact.
The theme of our study is “Mission in Christ’s Way”, which is a call to rethink our concepts about mission, which, in some cases, involves a U-turn in our understanding. For example, missions is about the Kingdom of God and Jesus is the Kingdom, In other words, without Jesus, there is no sense to the reign of God’s Kingdom, nor to mission. Participating in his Kingdom does not mean establishing a mission program or movement, but rather participating in what Newbigin calls “costly discipleship”. Mission is therefore not a success story, at least as defined by our worldly business model. The Holy Spirit is the success story and is reflected in Acts 1:6-8 as the promise to the disciples. This occurs right after Jesus commanded his apostles to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the gift he was going to give them. The disciples, however, had another question in mind:
Date and Place of Birth: April 12, 1933, Patterson Grove, PA
Married to: Joice A. Barnett Franklin (1956)
Children: Kirk James (12 April, 1959, born in PNG); married November, 1981 to Christine Tierney; Dr. Karol Joy (30 October, 1965 born, in PNG); married August 1994 to Dr. Mike Hardin.
Retired: December 1, 2014, now living in Waco, Texas
Mission in Christ’s Way
Bishop James Edward Lesslie Newbigin (8 December 1909 – 30 January 1998) was a British theologian, missiologist, missionary and author. Though originally ordained within the Church of Scotland, Newbigin spent much of his career serving as a missionary in India and became affiliated with the Church of South India and the United Reformed Church, becoming one of the Church of South India’s first bishops. A prolific author who wrote on a wide range of theological topics, Newbigin is best known for his contributions to missiology and ecclesiology. He is also known for his involvement in both the dialogue regarding ecumenism and the Gospel and Our Culture movement. Many scholars also believe his work laid the foundations for the contemporary missional church movement, and it is said his stature and range is comparable to the “Fathers of the Church.” (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesslie_Newbigin, Accessed May 7, 3025)
According to Martin Robinson (“A passion for mission”), in the Bible Societies tribute to Newbigin in TransMission, “his offerings include his writings, but beyond the written page his unceasing energies as teacher, pastor, and ecumenical statesman mark him out as one that matched a keen mind wit personal kindness and zealous conviction”
In addition to Robinson, the Bible Society tribute includes contributions by Wilbert B. Shenk (“Lesslie Newbigin’s contribution to the theology of mission”); Harold Turner (“Lesslie Newbigin: A New Zealand perspective”); H. Dan Beeby (“Walking with Lesslie: A personal perspective”); George R. Hunsberge (”Renewing faith during the postmodern transition”); and Colin Greene (:Lesslie Newbigin: A Bible society perspective”).
Mission in Christ’s Way
Mission in Christ’s Way was published in 1987 by the World Council of Churches as a study on missions. A study guide that accompanies the article, prepared by Inagrace T. Dietterich. It is designed for small group discussion, with comments and questions on each of the four sections of Newbigin’s article.