This year is the 20th anniversary of the publication of Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission by David Bosch. It is a book which has transformed our thinking about mission.
Missio Dei and the Reign of God
Bosch led the way to a redefined concept of mission in last century. He took it from an understanding of ‘missions’ as the spreading of Christianity or programs for church expansion or conversion; to a focus on the mission of God with God as the sender. The book can be summarised by the last paragraph. “… mission is quite simply, the participation of Christians in the liberating mission of Jesus wagering on a future that verifiable experience seems to belie. It is the good news of God’s love, incarnated in the witness of community, for the sake of the world.”
The church, particularly in the West, needs this expanded understanding of mission which places the purpose, practice and power of mission with God. God’s mission has been, and continues to be, to bring in God’s Kingdom. The book holds in creative tension two ideas. First, an understanding of mission rooted in the actions of God which are necessarily mystery and unknowable. Second, through an exploration of New Testament understandings of mission as the Reign of God and the various epochs of missionary engagement, he gives us a very clear mirror in which to see mission and our part in it. “God’s reign is not understood as exclusively future but as both future and as already present. … God’s reign arrives wherever Jesus overcomes the power of evil.”
Click here to read the full article Transforming Mission A tribute to David Bosch
By Carolyn Kitto
In 1993, I undertook some work as part of my role with the NSW Synod of the UCA, on the so called “Mission Funding Crisis” facing mainline churches. This crisis was researched extensively by significant grants by the Lilly Endowment in the 1980’ and 1990’s. In the end, the research identified that people’s sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘ownership’ of the mission and vision of the church (local and wider church) was key to their generosity and the only reliable predictor of their giving.
17 years later, I was asked by the SA Synod of the UCA, to research what supported and encouraged generous giving in congregations. I discover that some things haven’t changed….. and some things have …… Continue Reading…
by Carolyn Kitto
Invite people to respond in a giving invitation. Acknowledge people’s current generosity by allowing them to validate their generosity through responding to a giving invitation. The more people respond, the greater the sense of generosity in the church. Continue Reading…
By Carolyn Kitto
I am often asked to help churches ‘get more money’. But churches have two entirely different motivations behind the need for this money. The first kind of church is driven by a sense of call from God to grow their mission and ministry; they need more money. The second kind of church is the one which has having trouble making ends meet; the income and the expenses just don’t match up. In essence it is the same issue and opportunity: there is more to do than the money lets us do. Raising money with the first kind of church, which has a focus on people and serving and mission, is infinitely easier than the second kind of church, which is trying to make ends meet. The suggestions in this article apply to both situations but will be most useful in a church which is seeking to grow its mission and ministry. Continue Reading…
by Carolyn Kitto
There is a movement of the Spirit across the churches in the western world, in particular. It is a movement re-calling the church to rediscover its part in continuing Christ’s mission in the world. It is a movement which says, we can plan a future which is different from the past where we assumed that Christianised cultures and the values of our society would support the church and its practices. Continue Reading…