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Lanham, MD:. Lexington Books.

Why Global Missions Requires Healthy Churches // Ask Pastor John

ISBN For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website. Want to review this book? Click Here. Description Through an examination of Methodist mission to Southeast Asia at the turn of the twentieth century, this broad-ranging book unites the history of globalization with the history of Christian mission and the history of Southeast Asia. Log in to post comments. When Wilson was called as its first pastor, services were held in a home in Kabul. With the growth of the expatriate community, homes were not large enough for worship services. The church sought and received government permission to construct a church building in Kabul in A funeral for a Canadian worker at a British military cemetery presented a unique opportunity to preach the gospel before a largely Afghan congregation.

Afterward, the church decided to start a work among the many blind people of Afghanistan. The church recruited Christian teachers who taught Braille in the local language. A project was also started to bring eye doctors and nurses to Afghanistan.

Globalization and the Christian Mission

But persecution began because of Afghan conversions. In the church building was destroyed, the work with the blind was shut down and Christian teachers were given one week to leave the country Wilson , Since the overthrow of the Taliban in , however, efforts have been made to re-establish an international church ministry in Kabul. This happened recently with a former Southern Baptist church in Caracas. During the s, missionaries of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board planted an expatriate church.

Fluctuations in the expatriate population meant the church struggled to become self-supporting.

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After the missionary pastor left, an expatriate member became the lay pastor. As the number of Venezuelans attending increased, worship services were translated into Spanish. In time, Spanish-speaking members outnumbered English-speaking members.

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When the lay pastor resigned, the congregation called a national as pastor. Today the ministry is entirely in Spanish and is largely indigenous. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, the church lost its identity as an expatriate ministry. Perhaps if this church had had a vision for planting a national church it might have been able to keep its international identity.

Although ICs exist on foreign mission fields, many serve the original target group with little consideration for impacting nationals. To reach nationals, ICs must develop plans for ministering to the needs of indigenous people. A new breed of international churches planted since is breaking new ground. They envision reaching English-speaking nationals and internationals who will impact the host country by planting national churches.

It appears that most North American boards have not considered the mission potential of ICs. Few have been involved in planting them. In some cases boards have advised their missionaries against contact with English-speaking expatriates Bowers , It is understandable that mission boards would require their personnel to be involved in national churches and cross-cultural ministry while on foreign assignment.

But isolating them from expatriates and expat ministry may lead to missed opportunities to partner with ICs in launching out to the indigenous people. Many ICs can plant churches among middle- and upper-class nationals. Most are in world-class cities. Some are in countries closed to traditional missions. All ICs must consider their strategic position to become launching pads for mission to the indigenous people. North American mission boards should re-examine their view of and relationship to international churches. Globalization opens doors for using English-language ministry as a launching pad to indigenous peoples.

ICs and mission boards could enter strategic partnerships to target nationals in major cities of the world.

References Bliese, Richard H. Bowers, Dan P. Denver: Denver Seminary. Menconi, Peter. Spring, p. Pederson, David. Expatriate Ministry: Inside the Church of the Outsiders. Seoul, Korea: By the author. Rather it is a unity that brings the churches together in solidarity and communion with one another as well as the people that the churches serve. It is both promising and disruptive. This is the experience that we, Asian Christians, experience in our countries. I suggest that a spirit of solidarity associated with ecumenism is a Christian witness and challenge to globalization.

Pentecostalism would be particularly chosen as an example for reference; because I believe that any ecumenical study is inadequate without taking Pentecostalism seriously I will further explain this point later. There is no doubt that globalization brings the belief that "no human is an island" into realization. Only a few can escape from its impact.

Of course the Western nations, and more generally, the industrial countries still have far more influence over world affairs than do the poorer states. But globalization is becoming increasingly de-centered, and its effects are felt as much in Western countries as elsewhere. This is true of the global financial system, and of changes affecting the nature of government itself.


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What one could call "reverse colonization" is becoming more and more common. Although globalization is led from the West, bears the strong imprint of American political and economic power, and is highly uneven in its consequences, globalization is not just the dominance of the West over the rest; it affects the United States as it does other countries. On the other hand, some argue that economic globalization is bringing about a denationalization of economies through the establishment of transnational networks of production, trade and finance.


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Strange puts it, "the impersonal forces of world markets… are now more powerful than the states to whom ultimate political authority over society and economy is supposed to belong… the declining authority of states is reflected in a growing diffusion of authority to other institutions and associations, and to local and regional bodies. Grieder and K. Ohmae consider that contemporary globalization represents the triumph of an oppressive global capitalism.

The old North-South division is argued to be an increasing anachronism as a new global division of labor replaces the traditional core-periphery structure with a more complex architecture of economic power. The growing economic marginalization of many "Third World" states as trade and investment flows within the rich North intensifies to the exclusion of much of the rest of the globe.

To a large extent, this criticism is valid, but economic competition does not necessarily produce zero-sum outcomes. While particular groups within a country may be made worse off as a result of global competition, nearly all countries have a comparative advantage in producing certain goods that can be exploited in the long run.

In addition, globalization is not just an economic issue.

Globalization and the Church's New Challenges

The conditions facilitating transnational cooperation between peoples brought by globalization pave the way for the emerging global civil society. The complexity of globalization makes it impossible for us to pass a simple judgment on it. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the impact of globalization locally.

Hong Kong, the city where I live and work, is chosen for this further examination. From an economic perspective, globalization involves an explosion of global trade, investment and financial flows across state and regional boundaries. The cheap labor and the labor-intensive light industries of Hong Kong of earlier times helped her achieve industrialization by riding the tide of international trade, investment, and finance. Nevertheless, this situation has changed since the early s. With the intensification of international trade, investment and finance, more countries and regions mainly south east Asia entered the competition for market and capital.

Hong Kong finds herself less competitive against some of the newer developing economies. An obvious example of this is that many factories of Hong Kong have moved to China.

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As a result, employment provided by manufacturing fell from around , in to , in , [13] and the percentage of manufacturing in Hong Kong's gross domestic product dropped from They are key centres in the spatial organization and articulation of production and markets and are major sites for the concentration and accumulation of international capital. Typically, they are characterized by a concentration of corporate headquarters, banks and firms specializing in producer services.

The most obvious of the economic impact of globalization is the growing gap between the very rich and the very poor. The income disparity of Hong Kong was never small, but it has become even greater in the last two decades. A Gini-coefficient above 0. In the s, the Gini-coefficient for Hong Kong was 0. As industries give way to services, employment in cities like Hong Kong tends to expand at both the high and the low end and to shrink in the middle. Lawyers, bankers, accountants and public relations specialists get paid extremely well, while restaurant and laundry workers, many of whom are new immigrants, can barely get by.

Apart from serious income disparity, the rate of unemployment grows higher, because a lot of workers have been sacrificed for the economic transformation, that is, from a newly industrialized economy to a world city. The most recent unemployment figure is 7.