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A Learning Missional Church: Reflections from Young Missiologists

Author : Beate Fagerli

Beate Fagerli, Knud Jorgensen, Rolv Olsen and Rolv Olsen

Cross-cultural mission has always been a primary learning experience for the church. It pulls us out of a mono-cultural understanding and helps us discover a legitimate theological pluralism which opens up for new perspectives in the Gospel. translating the Gospel into new languages and cultures is a human and divine means of making us learn new 'incarnations' of the Good News.

This book is compiled by contributions from young missiolgists from different parts of the world. It is written from the perspective of youth to be a fresh breath of air into more traditional mission thinking and mission paradigms. The flavour of this fresh breath of air, coming from the younger generation, is "learning from others and from one another": How may traditional sending churches and organizations see themselves as receivers? How may we bring experiences from outside into our own context? What may we learn across geographical borders - North learning from South, South learning North, South learning from South? What can we learn from one another in a process of reciprocity? 'Mission as learning' is not just welcome addendum to mission, but a necessity if we want God's Spirit to reveal to us some new dimensions of Jesus as he comes to be known and loved in "every nation, tribe, people and language."

A church that aims at being A Learning Missional Church sorely needs Reflections from Young Missiologists, as this book is entitled. The reflections are valuable because of the content and substance, because they deal with relevant issues; they are valuable because they depict the church as a 'learning organisation' cross-culturally; and they are valuable because they raise signs of youthful willingness to challenge and change. In this way these reflections may show the way towards Edinburgh 2110.

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Beate Fagerli, Knud Jorgensen, Rolv Olsen and Rolv Olsen Cross-cultural mission has always been a primary learning experience for the church. It pulls us out of a mono-cultural understanding and helps us discover a legitimate theological pluralism which opens up for new perspectives in the Gospel. translating the Gospel into new languages and cultures is a human and divine means of making us learn new 'incarnations' of the Good News. This book is compiled by contributions from young missiolgists from different parts of the world. It is written from the perspective of youth to be a fresh breath of air into more traditional mission thinking and mission paradigms. The flavour of this fresh breath of air, coming from the younger generation, is "learning from others and from one another": How may traditional sending churches and organizations see themselves as receivers? How may we bring experiences from outside into our own context? What may we learn across geographical borders - North learning from South, South learning North, South learning from South? What can we learn from one another in a process of reciprocity? 'Mission as learning' is not just welcome addendum to mission, but a necessity if we want God's Spirit to reveal to us some new dimensions of Jesus as he comes to be known and loved in "every nation, tribe, people and language." A church that aims at being A Learning Missional Church sorely needs Reflections from Young Missiologists, as this book is entitled. The reflections are valuable because of the content and substance, because they deal with relevant issues; they are valuable because they depict the church as a 'learning organisation' cross-culturally; and they are valuable because they raise signs of youthful willingness to challenge and change. In this way these reflections may show the way towards Edinburgh 2110.

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'Valuable Contribution' Review by Church Times
IT IS said that most religious publishers avoid books with the word “Mission” in their title. Unless they are clearly about church growth, and that means largely numerical increase, they just don’t sell. As the chair of USPG (now “Us.”), however, has written in these pages, the challenges and opportunities facing the Church today leave us in urgent need of the kind of theology of mission — what we are about and how we should do it, or, rather, what God is about and how we should join in — which David Bosch provided in the 1990s.
These books are a valuable contribution to that task. They are the latest in the Regnum Edinburgh Centenary series, sponsored by the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, some of which are now available for free download.
In 1910, at the peak of the colonial era, representatives of the world’s missionary societies met in Edinburgh. Almost exclusively white and male, they were confident that their Western gospel and church structures could soon dominate the world. Yet, within a decade, European imperialism began to disintegrate, slowly leading to the kind of world which we now see: independent nation states, religious conflict, and a globalisation with its new imperialisms, both political and economic.
So the centenary conference that met in Edinburgh in 2010 was very different in both agenda and participants. The Anglican delegation was mainly younger people, ministers and theologians from around the Communion. Life-Widening Mission is their shared reflection, with individual contributions on the Communion’s Five Marks of Mission: proclaiming the Kingdom (Hong Kong), baptising, teaching and nurturing (United States), loving service (South Africa), transforming injustice (Kenya), and caring for creation (Zambia). Others deal with gender (Canada) and modern technology (Brazil).
What understanding of church and mission emerges? Some of them pick up on Paul Avis’s definition: mission is the good news of God’s love, incarnate in the witness of a community for the sake of the world.” Many of them emphasise that old distinctions between evangelism and service no longer make sense, especially in non-Western Churches.
(Posted on 02/05/2018)

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