Whereas in the past it was necessary for Christians to head overseas to engage in cross-cultural mission, now people from hundreds of different cultures can be found on our doorstep. Migration and rapid worldwide travel has transformed our world into a kaleidoscope of cultures in nearly every nation and continent. This is the world which God loves and for which He sent His Son Jesus to die.
We want to train and equip you for this mission, whether to migrants up the street, postmodern young people alienated from their parents’ generation, or to sophisticated people in the high rises of Asian megacities. This preparation includes the development of biblical and ministry skills as well as engagement with missional scholars and practitioners to enable you to understand what mission in the 21st century is all about. And the multi-cultural All Nations community will challenge your presuppositions and help you to study mission in a vital and hands-on way.
Some people define mission so broadly that almost anything done in the name of Christ becomes mission! But as Stephen Neil said, “If everything is mission, nothing is mission”. At its root you need to remember that we live in a creation which is alienated from God as a result of the fall. People who do not know Him are eternally lost and their greatest need is to be reconciled with Him through the work of Christ on the cross. Whatever else we may say about mission we must never lose sight of the need to introduce people to Jesus with the aim of leading them into a new and eternal life by repentance and faith in Him.
However, such mission is not a cold communication of the facts of the gospel. It must be demonstrated by Spirit-inspired acts of love which will lead to transformation of both individuals in need and societies which are scarred by poverty and injustice. In the Great Commission Jesus tells us to make disciples who will obey His commands. It is no good dragging drowning people into the Christian lifeboat and simply leaving them there. We need to help them to become more and more like Christ through intentional discipleship, and to gather them into the fellowship of the church so they can show the love of Christ to a world of need—as well as giving them a heart for the restoration of the creation which has been marred by sin.
In some countries it is possible to be very open in evangelism, discipleship and leadership training, but in many countries it is simply not possible to work with the label “missionary”. All Nations will help you through a variety of very practical courses of study to see how to engage in mission with integrity while engaged in business, education, development or social activity. You will also learn what it means to do mission when working in places where other religions are dominant.
The days when mission was closely allied with an export of Western civilisation are long gone. But it is a challenge for all of us to minister in a culture which is different in both its thinking and its practices from our own. All of us, no matter what our ethnic or cultural background, tend to think that our way of viewing the world and living in it is the right one. At All Nations we are committed to helping you practice contextualisation and we will help you to learn how to communicate the gospel, do church, and engage in theology in a culture that is unlike your own.
For many people today mission is purely local. But the God of mission calls us to leave our comfort zones and to head out into our multi-cultural world with the good news of Christ. Many people in our world have never heard the gospel. We want to help you to be ready to answer His call to go to all nations and all peoples, whether nearby or far away, so that God might be glorified in His world.