Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Perspectives Week 7... Eras of Mission History

Perspectives Week 7… Eras of Mission History

So I’ve taken a little break from my blog series recapping our Perspectives class. Probably mostly because I’m still on the history section and that portion of the material was not quite as stimulating to me as the rest of the class, so I haven’t been as excited to write about it. I’ll breeze through weeks 7, 8 and 9 on history so we can move on to material that I am more passionate about.

4 Stages of development in missions
-pioneer stage- first contact with a people group
-paternal stage- expatriates train national leadership
-partnership stage- national leaders work as equals with expatriates
-participation stage- expatriates are no longer equal partners, but participate only by invitation

3 Periods of Protestant mission activity to unreached peoples from the last 200 years
-First Era 1792-1910 To the Coastlands- pioneered by William Carey
-Second Era 1865-1980 Inland Areas- pioneered by Hudson Taylor
-Third Era 1934-? Unreached Peoples- set in motion by Cameron Townsend and Donald McGabran

The E-Scale- This is a reference tool created by Ralph Winter to describe and compare evangelistic needs
-E-0 Evangelism of people who are part of Christian families and peoples. Generally a renewal within the church. No cultural barriers are crossed.
-E-1 Evangelism of people outside of the church but within one’s culture. Only one barrier is crossed. This is the most effective type of evangelism because people are more likely to understand what is being communicated in ways that they can pass on to others like themselves.
-E-2 Evangelism of people of different but similar cultures. Two barriers are crossed. The barrier of the church, then a cultural barrier. This cultural distance would be sufficient to require separate church fellowships.
-E-3 Evangelism of people of radically different cultures. This is the most difficult type of evangelism as you are crossing 3 barriers, that of the church, a language barrier (or cultural), and a major lifestyle barrier (like that of nomads or a radically different way of life).

Since E-1 evangelism is largely more effective that is why in missions a general approach would be to raise up and empower national Christian leaders using E-2 or E-3 evangelism, but then allowing them to reach the rest of their people in the E-1 method.

The P-Scale was also created by Ralph Winter. It evaluates the cultural distance that potential converts need to move in order to join the church most relevant to their own culture.
-P-0 Identifies church members who need spiritual renewal. No distance lies between them and following Christ according to customers of their church, it’s more of a revival.
-P-1 Identifies people who live in cultures which have a culturally-relevant local church movement capable of evangelizing them.
-P-2 Identifies people who live in a culture that has no church relevant to their people group, but there is a church in a “near” culture. To follow Christ the potential convert would have to cross both a culture barrier as well as the barrier of the church by adopting the social and cultural values of a local church within a people other than their own.
-P-3 Identifies people who also lives in a culture without a relevant church. There are no nearby cultures similar to their own within which churches have been established. To follow Christ they would have to surmount significant cultural and social boundaries.

The missionary task of reaching the unreached peoples involves eliminating all P-2 and P-3 groups by planting churches in each people group that will be able to reach the rest of their people group through evangelism.

Okay… so maybe I didn’t put much history into that and more theory…


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