Why do we need a new missions paradigm?
We will always need traditional missions.
We must continue to send North Americans to the ends of the earth for the gospel of Jesus.
But, we also need a new paradigm for missions. The 21st Century will require more partnerships - since the center of global Christianity is no longer in the global North or West; and it will require urban leadership, church-planting movements, sustainable giving and experienced leadership.
Given these realities, the Lord has impressed on our heart the need for a multi-ethnic network of urban churches and church planters who can spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Today is a day for Partnerships.
A. The first, great movement of missions involved pioneers like Hudson Taylor, William Carey and Jonathan Livingstone penetrating new regions with the gospel. They brought the gospel from the 'coast' to 'inland' such as Taylor's 'China Inland Mission.'
B. After the gospel moved inland, the second modern missions movement involved propagating the gospel throughout the continent, say of Africa or Asia.
C. But today, with the massive shift in Christianity from the global North and West to South and East, means today is a day for authentic gospel partnerships.
2. Urban Focus
Today is a day to reach cities.
Not only has global Christianity shifted way from North America and Europe to Asia, Africa and Latin America, it has shifted from rural and suburban areas to massive, historically unprecedented urban environments. A new missions paradigm must consider cities.
3. Church-Planting Movements
Today is a day for church planting.
God is raising up church-planting movements around the world. This development means missions endeavors are becoming flatter: church-to-church, city-to-city and planter-to-planter--not unlike the pattern in the New Testament.
4. Sustainable Giving
Today is a day for sustainable giving.
One of the great advantages of church planting is multiplication. Instead of supporting missionaries for a lifetime, church-planting gifts help launch churches that become self-governing, self-propagating and self-supporting. This approach multiplies the impact of giving.
Today is a day for experienced leadership.
Rather than sending young, inexperienced workers, we see the advantage of partnering with experienced, indigenous leaders of proven worth to plant churches, that will in turn plant other churches. We believe we can reach the harvest with this approach.