Mission Resource Tutorial

Let’s say you are heading to Liberia and want to get a sense of the advancement of the Gospel there – where would you look? Or, God is asking your small group to pray for unreached people – do you have to develop your own prayer guide, or might there be one your group could use?

No matter how you’re called to participate in Christ’s mission, whether here at home, heading overseas for a vacation or leaving the country to live, there are resources you should become familiar with. They’ll help you participate in mission in a meaningful and informed way. Below are short descriptions of six great websites that will expand your knowledge and hopefully deepen your passion for following Christ into his world. 

Centre for the Study of Global Christianity

The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary is best known for the World Christian Encyclopedia but has lots of great online resources for everyone. Their “Quick Facts” are interesting to peruse. If you’re looking for accessible statistics check out their Infographics and Maps (see below).

World Christian Encyclopedia

Dr. David B Barrett was the originator of the The World Christian Encyclopedia (WCE). He arrived as an Anglican missionary to Kenya in 1957. It was out of his work on church affiliations that the idea for this globe encompassing encyclopedia was born. The first edition of the WCE took over ten years to complete and included information on 22,000 denominations worldwide. The third edition of this publication will be out in early 2020. Passionate missiologists find it helpful to explore the demographic profiles of Christians in 234 countries and the quick reference tables with “country by country” statistics. A great resource for a church but a bit pricey for most people.

Frontier Ventures

In 1974, at the Congress for World Evangelization in Lausanne Switzerland, Ralph Winters changed the strategic direction of Christian mission by suggesting that mission agencies needed to target people groups and not operate according to political boundaries. In 1976 Ralph Winters went on to start the U.S. Centre for World Missions in Pasadena California. In 2015 the Centre for World Missions changed its name to become Frontier Ventures. Frontier Ventures is known for risk taking innovation and collaboration. Their website hosts a great blog, podcasts and links to affiliated organizations who have noteworthy resources in their own right.

Joshua Project

The Joshua Project, an affiliated organization with Frontier Ventures, has an incredible variety of resources focussed on, “Bringing definition to the unfinished task.” Their people group profiles, and Vision Resources are particularly helpful for those who want to pray and invest strategically. They even have children’s resources so that the whole family can be involved in developing their missional IQ. 

Lausanne Movement

Every Christian should be aware of the Lausanne Movement. This movement was a seed planted in the heart of Billy Graham and showed its first sprouting leaves in the 1974 Congress on World Evangelization. The first documents produced by the movement, the Lausanne Covenant, were drafted by a committee chaired by John Stott. The meeting format that produced the Lausanne Covenant has been improved on and has resulted in several ground-breaking documents including the Manila Manifesto and the Cape Town Commitment, as well as dozens of occasional papers that are essential resources for missiologists around the globe. Visit www.lausanne.org and enjoy the huge gift this represents to Christians around the globe.

Linking Global Voices

It has been said that the future of mission is in networks. Networks are great platforms for joining together people, organizations and churches around common causes. Linking Global Voices provides access to hundreds of networks from around the world. Using their search engine allows you to search the world for networks where your passions are shared. If you or your church are interested in finding ways that you can contribute to Christ’s mission in the world this is a great way to begin.

More Network

Almost every church supports missionaries, but few have a comprehensive program in place for their care while in the field, and maybe more importantly, after they return. Many missionaries struggle when they return to Canada. For children born overseas, the struggles can be even greater. That’s the beauty of the More Network. They have developed resources and programs to help your church support your missionaries at home and abroad. Over the last few years they have even developed summer programs to help third culture kids process their move back to Canada and the loss that sometimes accompanies that transition.

Summary

This is just a sampling of some of the tools that can be a help as we follow Jesus. You can find links to these resources and more at www.missioncentral.ca. As Jesus said, “the fields are white.” I’d encourage you to dive in, explore and anticipate that God will nudge you to love a ‘neighbour’ you may never have been aware of.

As rich as these resources are, believe it or not more are needed. We could use long range studies on how effective we are at making new disciples; more information on shifting ways that Canadian’s are participating in Christ’s mission; more information on the impact of globalization and secularization on the church and mission here and abroad. If you’ve never supported a resource ministry before maybe, consider doing so in the coming year. Good data leads to good decisions and wise action.


You'll find links to these resources and more at Mission Central/ Resources.

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