Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Taking Advantage of Our Growing Knowledge

5.  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR GROWING KNOWLEDGE OF NON-CHRISTIAN PEOPLES Going out as a missionary was very different in previous generations compared with today.  It wasn’t that many years ago when a young person would present themselves at the altar of a church and declare their desire to become a foreign missionary and in due […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Pros and Cons of Short Term Missions

4.  SHORT TERM MISSIONS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS AND THE WORST THINGS WHICH HAS EVER HAPPENED TO MISSIONS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH One of the most frequently asked questions is whether I think short-term missions is a healthy or destructive trend in the church today.  Nearly all pastors are aware of the dramatic […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Wisely Investing Our Resources

3.  AS A CHURCH WHERE DO WE INVEST OUR RESOURCES? With the growing interest in the globalization of Christianity and the unprecedented travel of Christians around the world, it is not unusual for churches to be overwhelmed with financial requests to support various missions projects around the world.  Since resources are limited, churches must be […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Urban Context of Missions

2. THE URBAN CONTEXT OF MISSIONS Many people still conceive of the typical mission field as a remote jungle area with half-dressed natives who have never heard of a telephone, much less the gospel of Jesus Christ.[1] This mental paradigm has been reinforced through the biographies of Western missionaries from the 19th century who often […]

Rise of the Non-Western Church: Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century

We live in a rapidly changing world.  What is not as evident is how these global changes influence the church’s role in the world.  This is particularly true in the area of missions.  Many people still think about missions as it was in the 19th century. While the missions mandate itself remains unchanged, the context […]

The Gospel is Rooted in History

One of the most important, but often neglected, phrases in the Apostles’ Creed is the statement, “he suffered under Pontius Pilate.”  Some have wondered why the early church would include the name of the very Roman Governor who presided over Jesus’ trial and ordered his crucifixion into this very ancient confession of faith.  Upon reflection, […]

God of Mission

Neill McGregor, the former director of the National Gallery of Art in London, noted a few years ago that roughly one-third of the greatest European paintings in the collection depict an explicitly biblical theme.[1] This reflects the obvious historical impact which Christianity has had on western civilization.  The irony emerges in that the vast majority […]

The Most Important Mirror

Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, is one of the earliest writers to record the ancient myth of Narcissus.  According to Ovid, after Narcissus’ encounter with Echo, he fled to a river where he knelt down to drink.  However, as he was about to drink, he caught sight of his own reflection in the water and fell […]

The Gospel and Innovative Delivery Systems

In the mid nineties two students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, sat in their dorm room at Stanford University and pledged themselves, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”  The result was Google, the most powerful and widely used search engine in the world.  The word Google is a term […]

God’s Dirty Hands (Mark 7:31-37)

It’s fascinating to think about how much time Mark spends demonstrating Jesus’ encounters with human pain and suffering.  According to one early church tradition, Mark himself had deformed hands.  This may explain his special interest in Peter’s eye witness accounts of Jesus’ healings.  Throughout the gospel, we regularly see Jesus encountering the blind, the lame, […]