I’m reading this book for an upcoming weekend calss on Urban Church Planting. I’d like to from time to time offer some good quotes and some of my reflections on what I am reading. I welcome comments on this stuff, just know that most of is written in the form of journal-thoughts, not really completely formed, but in process. Here’s something that got my mind going from Raymond J. Bakke, “Urbanization and Evangelism: a Global View”, The Urban Face of Mission, ed. by Harvie Conn
“Today over 50 percent of this earth – over three billion people – lives in world-class cities. We aren’t prepared for that. Most of our mission industry, most of the ministries that many of us represent, are still thinking in terms of tribal world, a world where we cross oceans and deserts and jungles to get to the lost groups of people. There are, indeed, still about a billion people who are geographically distant from existing churches, so we will need traditional ministries on into the future. But far more than two billion of the world’s nonchurched people are no longer geographically distant from the church’ they are culturally distant. They live in the largest cities of the world.” p. 29
The way we should think about “missions” in this non-traditional sense, is less in terms of geography, and more in terms of culturally.
Categories of Thought:
Geographically Distant, Culturally Distant -> Traditional Missions
Geographically Distant, Culturally Close -> Traditional Missions
Geographically Close, Culturally Close -> Traditional Evangelism
Geographically Close, Culturally Distant -> Missional Intentionality
– Who are those people who are culturally outside the church and in need of the redeeming power of the gospel? I think, if we were to ask this question, our conversations about contextualization would be properly subsumed under the aim of missions, and that is to bring all of God’s creation into a right relationship with Him (God <–> Man <–> Creation).