Twenty-First Century Mission from Everywhere to Everywhere.

In Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the utmost parts of the earth.

Luke’s recalling of Jesus’s words in Acts 1:8 are often used to justify a concentric model of mission. Acts does not say, however that they will be witness “from Jerusalem” but in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was only one centre of missionary sending in the First Century. Luke demonstrates that Antioch became another centre for sending. And Paul, in Romans expects Rome will become a new centre of sending, this time to Spain.

Allen Yeh of Biola University has written a book that came out on the 1st November, 2016 reflecting upon five conferences that took place, four in 2010 and one in 2012. The four in 2010 took place in Tokyo, Cape Town, Edinburgh and Boston. The 2012 Conference took place in Costa Rica. So there have been major mission conferences in every continent between 2010 and 2012. The book’s title is Polycentric Missiology: Twenty-First Century Mission, from Everywhere to Everywhere.

Yeh analyses each of these conferences in turn and evaluates their history;Polycentric Mission their proceedings; their themes and their impact. He says that in some ways these conferences improved on Edinburgh (1910) and in other ways they don’t. One way that they are a lot better than Edinburgh (1910) is that they now reflect the changing face of Christianity. Each had representation from all around the world.

Reflecting on the face of the contemporary church, Yeh says,

World Christianity is the “umbrella” or “meta” category that should permeate all of how we think, speak and act.

Our mission and mission thinking and activity should reflect this fact. In the final chapter he says,

Many people think of multiethnic, multiculturalism and polycentrism as ideal for Christianity but not absolutely necessary.

The early church right from Pentecost is seen to be a multiethnic group and as we noted above it very soon became “polycentric”.

At All Nations we have been reflecting upon this subject for over 25 years. The Post-Graduate Programme was set up at All Nations to study this very issue. Many graduates have been involved  in training Global South cross-cultural workers and have taken part in the growth of the World Church and its movement into mission.

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