Monday, February 1, 2010

Revolution in World Missions by Yohannin

"The words echoed in my mind. This is His work, I told myself. Why am I making it mine? The burden is light. Why am I making it heavy? The work is a privilege. Why am I making it a chore?"

I began reading this missions book today. It actually brought tears to my eyes when he described indigenous missionaries and the way they live. I felt a lot of guilt and shame as he described what it was like for him to come to America and see the churches here. I'm not finished with it yet - so I'll have to come back later and give the final thoughts on the book. But, so far all I can say is: ouch! It's a real wake-up call. I usually feel skeptical of books that make me feel so shamed - but not this one. Not at all. We probably all deserve to feel some tension and true moral guilt about our excessive lifestyles and the suffering of Christian missionaries in the other 2/3 of the world. What bothers me isn't the guilt - it's just that the guilt will be forgotten and I'll go back into the matrix! Ug.

This book is free for anyone to read. Look it up! It's well worth the read so far. I am completely sucked in --- I'll probably finish it tonight.

It's part-biography, part-wake up call, and part-a call to viewing missions differently. He wants to promote the work of national indigenous missionaries and get us to realize that we are past the "2nd wave" colonial missions era and into the "3rd wave" native missionary era. I'm not sure about all the conclusions yet - so I have reserved judgment about the strategy portion so far; yet the story and the wake up call are certainly really speaking volumes to me! I'm halfway done now. He's advocating for national missionaries to receive financial and technical support from us Americans.

  "What's the bottom line? God is calling us as Christians to alter our lifestyles, to give up the nonessentials of our lives so we can better invest our wealth in the kingdom of God."

He makes a great point about racism; saying that Americans often begin asking subtly racist things about local missionaries like, "well, are they well-trained?" or "will money corrupt them?" They ask these things because deep-down they trust people who look like them more than people who look differently; when in actuality - people from a less oppulant culture are probably more likely to do well with money than we are.

His view of America is pretty harsh - we are rich, wasteful, proud, people who don't pray or practice the quiet spiritual arts enough, people who ignore sections of the Bible. However, he also thinks that the western church has the ability to help the native missionaries reach the world. And in giving financially, we will be a part of a great and important work.

So, more to come on this later....

No comments:

Post a Comment