5 challenges for mission and ministry from postmodern assumptions

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5 challenges for mission and ministry from postmodern assumptions

  1. 1. Challenges for Mission and Ministry from Postmodern Assumptions and Realities Joshva Raja Session 5.
  2. 2. Themes to be discussed  An emerging paradigm / emerging church  The end of Modern Era and Missions  PostChristendom  Simpson’s Gospel  Harry Potter’s church
  3. 3. Resources for reading  J Andrew Kirk Mission Under Scrutiny: Confronting Current Challenges, pp. 201-219: ‘A Postscript: Mission post-Everything?’  Bosch, Transforming Mission. 349-362)  Richard Tiplday, Church in a Postmodern Society.  Richard Tiplady Postmission: World Mission by a Postmodern Generation. Cumbria  Paternoster Press, 2002.  Richard Bauckham Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World.  Cumbria: Paternoster Press. 2003.  J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban New York: Scholastic  Press, 1999.  Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christian (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001), xiv-xv,  xvi.
  4. 4. Preview Modernity and Mission views  A scientific view of the Bible  Emphasis on doctrine – Doctrines are our theological facts.  High value on rightness  Low tolerance for mystery  High Value on Truth  Proclamation as Doctrine  High value in teaching and preaching  Low value in personal discipleship  Autonomy in Church practice
  5. 5. Rise and fall of Christendom  In 312 Constantine (hoc Signo Vince – in this sign conquer) – sign of the cross – Christianity as a force of unity of the Roman empire  Christendom means – a. adoption of Christianity as a the official religion of the empire b. All citizens were Christians by birth
  6. 6. Mission of the Christian Church in a Postmodern World – George Carey  The Collapse of Global Ideology  Relativising of values  Loss of hope  Mission Response – The church should never be apologetic for bearing witness to eternal truths (versus material values)  As a Church we need to rediscover the sacramental nature of community  The Church must put service before power and status
  7. 7. Christian Mission in the Postmodern World Peterstephenson  A. Suspicion of All Big Stories progress vs ecological disaster  Deconstruction as mission?  Come clean about the churches’ past  Examine ourselves for oppressive tendencies  Search ourselves for signs of syncretism
  8. 8. B Distrust of Authority and Institutions  Big stories are construction of those in power built to legitimise and preserve that power  No favours to elders due to ecological disasters – Live for today  Image – free to choose – any truths  Global awareness – ecological destruction, human rights, destruction of ethnic cultures, racial and religious intolerance, sexual discrimination, abuse of animals
  9. 9. Missions 1  Personally Focussed – a. I will get by with a little help from my friends – relationship b. Live and let live – pluralism c. Get your act together  Longing for Intimacy  Real Personal Spirituality
  10. 10. Missions 2  Politically Alienated a. Trust no one above thirty – authority b. Whatever - Ideology  Philosophically Confused a. There is more to life than meets the eye – empiricism b. Consistency belongs to small minds – rationalism
  11. 11. Missions 3  Theologically Ignorant a. Feeling good is good enough for me: Truth and Values b. Imagine there is no heaven: Spirituality
  12. 12. Changing Patterns and Models of Missions
  13. 13. Initiatives  Mission as Development  Mission with HIV Patients  Mission with prisoners  Medical Mission  Media and Mission  Charity as Mission  Conflict Resolution as Mission  Ecological concerns as Mission
  14. 14. Paradigm shifts?!  No history of other missions?  History of Other missions
  15. 15. Medical Mission  Wilkinson, John (1989 Maxwell Memorial Lecture) Making Men Whole - The Theology of Medical Missions, CMF and the book by Christopher H Grundmann - University Press of America 2005 Sent to Heal! - Emergence and Development of Medical Missions  Holistic approach of mission – Physical healing through medical treatment?  God’s concern for the sick and weak  Jesus’ healing and caring for the sick  Mission purely spiritual? Caring for physical wellbeing as well! – James 5
  16. 16. Paradigm shifts in Medical Mission  Nestorian Christianity - 'the knowledge and practice of medicine and healing was a notable feature’  Constantine’s conversion – 4th Century – hospitals, orphanages and other missions began  Until enlightenment the medical practice was traditional, religious, and superstitious  Medical missionaries were sent out in 18th Centuries – from Hospitals to Community health care systems
  17. 17. Development as Mission  Progress  Traditional societies  Linear models  Modernization – diffusion  Dependency  Participation  Community based development
  18. 18. Development  Ecological economics  Sustainable development  Welfare economics  Feminist economics  http://etd.rau.ac.za/theses/available/etd- 10062004-104219/restricted/Chapter6.pdf  http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/la ureates/1998/sen-lecture.pdf
  19. 19. Mission among HIV/AIDS  http://data.unaids.org/Publications/IRC- pub06/JC1119-Theological_en.pdf  http://www.unaids.org/DocOrder/OrderFor m.aspx  Awareness  Prevention  Treatment  Caring  Advocacy
  20. 20. Mission among the virtual communities  (1) a virtual common-public-space where a significant portion of interactive group- CMCs  occur;  (2) a variety of communicators;  (3) a minimum level of sustained stable membership; and  (4) a minimum level of interactivity.
  21. 21. New Mission Initiatives and models  Postmodern Mission  Globalization and Mission  Popular culture and Mission  Media and Mission  War and Mission  Eco-concerns and mission  Collaborative mission
  22. 22. Barriers between Modern and Postmodern faith  Truth and Subjectivity  Rejection of rigid distinctions  Local, personal and specific truth  Rejection of absolute truths  Inclusiveness or tolerance  Diversity of Morals and Lifestyles  Noise as non-confirming  Conservative religion as enemy
  23. 23. Bridges  Tendency for spiritual sensitivity  Experiential spirituality  Personal spirituality  Practicality  Social needs  Shalom  Looking for spiritual guides
  24. 24. Postmodernist church  Strong tendency toward personal spirituality  Deep thoughtful Christians  Tendency to live out their faith in society  Desire for community  Less tendency to fight with other Christians over the doctrine  Living in Metaphors
  25. 25. Weakness of the Postmodern Church  Desire for Individual spirituality  Desire for Individual Truth  Potential to get attracted with Spirituality itself  Tendency not to reflect biblically about social issues  Pragmatism without biblical reflection is no good  Tendency to hold personal doctrine above biblical doctrine
  26. 26. Postmodern models  Testimonies, symbols, paradox, parables and stories to share  Creative artistic expressions  Talents and gifts of spirit using them in ministry  Sharing through the web of relationship  Avoiding denominational identities  Using all media
  27. 27. Models of churching  Non-church-like names  Home web of cell groups  Smaller churches  Corporate worship is like a theatre room  Churches filled with art meeting non- traditional hours  Distrust marketing techniques  No leader but leaders
  28. 28. Starting from where?

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