Anthology Vol.8 No.1 (December 2020)
2020. A year that historians will talk about for decades.
The COVID-19 fall-out on the global missions movement has been substantial. While short-term ministry ground to a halt, deployed missionaries were faced with a decision to stay for the long haul or leave for home. People fell on both sides of that divide, sometimes because local governments made the decision for them. Meanwhile, indicators are that recruitment of new staff is up while funding has remained mostly consistent.
The racial and political divisions in the United States have also affected the missionary movement. The segregation we see in the church has influenced the historic makeup of the Western missionary force. During 2020, numerous efforts have been launched to overcome the lack of minority representation in global mission.
During times of crisis, associations like Missio Nexus are where leaders meet to learn from each other. Program participation has been record-setting in some areas, while challenging in others. Face-to-face events, a key part of our financial and ministry model, have suffered. Yet we have also enjoyed unprecedented opportunities, particularly with senior leaders in churches and agencies.
Thanks for being a part of these efforts. We continue to trust God for the future and recognize His blessing in 2020.
J. Ted Esler, PhD