At the Green Lake consultation it looked as though another Lincoln-Douglas debate were shaping up. Dr. Louis King and Dr: George Peters both spoke on the principles and practices of mission-church relations.
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TO YOU WHO WAIT AND WONDER . . . What will it be like? How will I fit in? How can I make sure I am used to utmost effectiveness?
Missions are faced with restless emergent churches overseas and at the same time are exposed to false theologies in segments of the professing church at home. The two problems are clearly interrelated, having both sprung from an inadequate understanding of the nature of the church and its message.
Much more conscious effort needs to be dedicated to clarifying today’s missionary objectives than missionary strategists have been willing to invest in the past. To consider the church as an end in itself rather than an instrument for making disciples in the “fourth world,” is to adopt a stunted objective.
Differences of opinion on the subject of evangelism vs. social action are of long standing — so old, in fact, that the roots go back to pre-Christian paganism.
It has been frequently observed that the Bible does not prescribe specific patterns of relationship between mission agencies and national churches. Such relationships seem to be open to history, circumstances, and human wisdom. However, such statements must be accepted with caution.
Back in 1929 Robert E. Speer wrote a small book, Are Foreign Missions Done For? Students today probe campus missionary speakers with the same questions Speer raised: Are foreign missions on the wane?
In working with hundreds of missionary candidates in pre-field orientation programs and several score in field situations, I have come to question whether the linguistic and sociolinguistic dimensions of missionary service are fully considered in the allocation of personnel.