As Richard stood staring out his office window, he knew something was wrong. His enthusiasm for ministry that had accompanied him for nearly thirty years was gone. He was tired, spiritually dry, and growing bitter about his situation.
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College friends wore our fundraiser T-shirts around campus. Team parents praised us for flying across the world to spread the gospel. In Japan, we were guests of honor. Local pastors advertised the visiting American athletes to draw people to church. Groups of teen girls wanted to pose with us for selfies. We were celebrities.
We live in a rapidly changing world in which massive amounts of people move from one place to the next. Many people who have come from other places live on the margins of society as socially excluded international refugees or immigrants.
While I was preparing with a team to go on a missions trip to Israel’s Jewish absorption centers, I met a young lady named Rosebud who was taking a break in the fast food restaurant where she worked.
Over the past thirty years I have noticed that many of us have a tendency to inadvertently promote half-truths that we think advance the cause of world missions. By half-truths, I mean concepts that are partially true or seemly true on the surface, but in fact are myths.
A little over ten years ago I was introduced to English as a Second Language (ESL) for the first time. A student at the local seminary who was fluent in Spanish had started an ESL class at a small Hispanic Baptist church in one of the suburbs of New Orleans and needed some help with her growing class.
The International Church is a kairos call to a profound need and compelling opportunity. God is sovereignly and supernaturally planting and building international churches in unparalleled numbers around the globe. The unprecedented diaspora scattering has created cutting-edge potential for the International Church to reach every tribe, tongue, and nation.
by William A. Dyrness IVP Books, 2016 —Reviewed by Robert Covolo, Center for Reformed and Evangelical Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
by Charles H. Kraft William Carey Library, 2016 —Reviewed by Cameron D. Armstrong, International Mission Board, Bucharest, Romania; PhD Intercultural Education student, Biola University
In Christian ministry circles the terms professional and professionalism have a long history of producing contrary emotions. While everyone celebrates those who do their job like a ‘pro,’ few get excited about people in ministry who go about their duties with professional detachment. The coin of the realm is passionate commitment, not detached objectivity that observes and reports but doesn’t engage deeply and sacrificially.