trends are radically changing missions in North America. 1) The transition
from the industrial age to the information age is changing the way people
communicate and the way people are managed. 2) The rise of the third-world
missionary force is changing the role of the North American mission industry.
3) The generational transition to the baby-boom generation is forcing
us to rethink our methods of motivation and management. 4) The rising
influence of ethnic groups in North America is breaking down the dichotomy
between local and foreign missions.
the mission community in North America adjusts to these trends, missions will
become more and more marginalized. Those agencies and churches that have been
most successful in the past are at greatest risk. Their past successes may
have blinded them to the changing shifts in missions. Frontier missions is
at particular risk. We are facing the most difficult challenge to reach the
unreached peoples, especially those located in the 10/40 window, just as the
influence of missions in North America is declining. The methods and techniques
that fueled the tremendous post-World-War-II missions mobilization effort
are ineffective when used with contemporary audiences. If the North American
mission industry is to continue to play a key role in reaching the unreached,
we must change or die!
more than twenty years I have wrestled with the issue of how to get contemporary
American Christians involved in God's global cause. Gene Getz was an important
mentor during my seminary years. At Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas, I experienced
a church that excelled at relating Christianity to contemporary America. As
a mission pastor at that same church, I was able to experience the failures
and successes of involving a boomer congregation in missions. Now as a mission
consultant with ACMC, I have been exposed to some of the best mission churches.