Paul Seger, Biblical Ministry Worldwide, gave a sobering presentation at the 50th Annual meeting of FOM today, September 18, 2019, and mentioned the following as trends and issues that impact or will impact US Christian Missions:
1 – It used to be from the West to the Rest. Now it’s to everywhere to everywhere. Churches in foreign countries have reproduced Churches and are sending out Missionaries worldwide.
2 – It use to be Easy Access to the World’s nations, but it is now increasingly becoming Restricted Access.
3 – We are slowly changing from donor-supported (from Churches and Individuals) Missionaries to self-supporting missionaries (Tent-Making). Germany needs 1000s of “IT” workers. A Christian “IT” worker in Germany could easily serve as a Tent Maker Missionary.
4 – From this Generation to the Next-generation (vast differences). They want to do it heir way, and staying a long time is out of the picture.
5 – From a Colonial Pastor Model to an Equipping, Enabling Model (a Pauline Model – Paul enabled and equipped)
6 – From Career Missionary work to Short-term Missions. Last year the Church spend $2.4 billion on short-term missions. We thot Short Term Missions would serve as a stepping stone to Career Missionary work, but this has not happened. Most short term populist missions require “no theological” training.
7 – From Gospel declaration to social justice and compassion (There is an inordinate emphasis on social justice). The Gospel is not social Justice. A good book to understand what’s happening is the Social Justice Primer by Gary Gilley.
8 – From supporting Americans to supporting nationals. (Some think that they can buy their way out of the Great Commission; buy their way out of going themselves.)
9 – From Hands off giving to hands-on giving. We use to trust that the $ we gave would be used well in missions. Now we want updates frequently, and we want to be involved is the use of our money on the field.
10 – From cultural transformation to cultural infiltration (this is probably because of Muslim countries)
To these was added by Bruce McAllister
11 – The Barna 2017 study (Pepperdine University) should be read.
B.M conducted a survey of 1324 Pastors “in our camp”.
– 514 were age 60 or older
– 993 were age 50 or older (75%)
If Churches can’t replace Pastors, this WILL greatly impact Missions
Dan Anderson mentioned that Christian Schools closing has a direct impact on producing pastors. He mentioned at the heart of most of these issues, there is the concept of “Self-Denial.”
12 – Bill Smallman cautioned about the invisible movement of Islam to take over the world (we are not prepared)
Two more good books: The Changing Face of World Mission, Pocock; Pressure Points, Payne
Reported by Chaplain Steve Brown, Associated Gospel Churches