With the Agencies
Mission Agencies (and others) have been somewhat confused over the past few years at the proliferation of missiological terms, often for the same or similar concepts. Recently the Frontier Peoples Committee of the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association in its first meeting suggested that the following phrases be considered synonymous: Hidden Peoples, Frontier Peoples, Unreached Peoples. The Lausanne Committee representatives agreed, and it is hoped that soon there will be a broad concensus on this question. The main point is whether or not there is "an indigenous community of believers able to evangelize their own people."
A massive campaign is needed in order to reach the world's unreached people groups. The "Adopt A Hidden People" plan that has been on the back burner for over two years can only go forward if mission agencies take the initiative specifically to "select" an unreached people group which a church may then adopt for prayer, support and the supplying of personnel for outreach to that group. It would be heart-breaking for some groups to be selected by agencies and not adopted by churches. It would be equally heart breaking to the churches if they were to adopt groups no mission agency had as yet selected. If you would like to join in the discussion write for a preliminary paper, which is now in its sixth revision, involving a number of different people. One of the key questions iswhether or not the word "adopt" will seem condescending to a group of people within whose midst there is not yet a viable national church.
Roman Catholic Orders and Protestant Mission Societies: Should the IRS treat them the same way? For some years this question has been boiling and the SIM has gone to the trouble to make the case with the IRS that their missionary personnel should be treated the same way by the IRS as are the members of a Catholic order. Interestingly enough, a .key fact is that most mission agencies pay all their people on the same level, whether they are doctors, teachers, or evangelists (the only differences being due to varying costs of living). The International Foreign Mission Association has indicated to its member organizations how they may declare themselves to the IRS as a Protestant religious missionary order. This will provide significant tax advantages, for example in the sense that all fully commissioned mission agency personnel will be dealt with by the IRS in the same category as ordained ministers.
The Role of North Americans in the Future of the Missionary Enterprise is the theme of a May 4¬7 working consultation at the Overseas Ministries Study Center in Ventnoc, New Jersey. Those participating in the program represent a very wide spectrum of church and mission leaders, ranging from National Council denominations to the Southern Baptists. We will report more on this next issue.
The fact that there seems to be a change from the massive pessimism and paralysis typical of mainline denominational circles concerning overseas opportunities makes a conference like this very interesting.
"The New Frontiers from Edinburgh 1980 to Wheaton 1983 is a technical paper by Ralph D. Winter evaluating the past and predicting the future in relation to the groundswell of new interest in frontiers. He traces "Paradigm A" and 'Paradigm B" in relation to the character of major world congresses of Christian leaders. (Circle the item on the back page if you would like a copy.)
Executives Urged to Lead Prayer Movement (MNS) Speaking at the Annual Convention of the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association (EFMA) in Arlington Heights, IL, March 1 3, David Bryant of InterVarsity Missions and author of In the Gap, called on mission executives to take the lead in spawning a movement of prayer for missions. Bryant proposed activities to "move us and the church at large close to an awakening for a new mission thrust."
"Such prayer pioneers should be summoned first of all from within our own ranks of missionary personnel," Bryant said. A warm response greeted this emphasis by Bryant, a missions specialist.
A new missions thrust was on the mind of EFMA's executive director, Wade T. Coggins as he called for a new missionary thrust by the church worldwide.
Coggins noted the significant role of emerging missions which have developed in Asia and Latin America. The increasing involvment of emerging missions will be a notable factor in the missions thrust of the coming decade, Coggins said. He also noted the rapid growth of emerging missions which now recruit, train and support more than 15,000 missionaries.
In speaking of the personnel needed for a new misisonary thrust, William Goheen called on executives to "communicate to the students your commitment and desire to live holy, pure, obedient lives, to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God." Goheen is coordinator of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Student Training in Missions Program.
Warren Webster, general director of the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society, was reelected president of EFMA. Other officers are David Raxnbo, Christian and Missionary Alliance Vice President; Hal Guffey, International Students Inc. secretary; and Virgil Ingraham, Brethren Church, Ashland Ohio treasurer.
It was announced that the next annual convention of the EFMA will be March 8 10, 19 at Orlando, FL.
Korean Churches Charge Forward Into Missions
Union missionary conferences are establishing city wide missionary organizations this year in eleven major cities of South Korea. Eight conferences were conducted in April, three in Seoul, led by the Korean Branch of International Missionary Advance (IMA). Five will follow this fall. The IMA believes that Korea can eventually commission 100,000 cross cultural missionaries, even if only two missionaries are sent from each of 50,000 dynamic churches. The Korean IMA Student Coordinating Office already lists 20,000 Korean missionary volunteers.
The World Christian Encyclopedia the result of over a decade's labor of love by an evangelical Anglican missionary, is one of the most astounding examples of missiological energy. Has anyone ever written a book on the Christian Movement worldwide that has claimed two full pages of TIME magazine? (See May 3 issue.) Due to our large circulation, we have been given a special price break which we are glad to pass on to our readers 59.95 postpaid (+ 6% in California.) Over 1,000 pages (each LIFE magazine sized page containing the equivalent of four book pages, means this is really a very inexpensive book, even when the retail price goes up to $95.00 July 31. It is the equivalent of sixteen 250 page books, for which you could readily pay 10 each these days. (Circle item on back page.)
With the Missiologists The annual meetings of the Association of Professors of Missions and the American Society of Missiology take place at the Garrett Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. The theme of the APM meeting, which runs from Thursday, 8 pm through Friday, 3 pm, is "The Bible and Missions: Interdisciplinary Implications." The theme of the ASM meeting (Friday, 5 pm through Sunday, 12 noon) is "Emerging Agendas in World Missions." In the dozen or more topics of addresses and workshops, there is not the slightest discernible reference to the new frontiers. But we can hope that they come up somewhere.
The supply of 5,000 copies in the first edition of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is getting low. This is not because students, pastors and lay people are buying them although that is happening. This is because missions professors and missiologists are establishing the book as a required text in their classes. Seventy different missiologists participated in the materials for this book. Scholars in the field of Biblical studies, historical studies, cultural studies and strategic studies contributed to sections in those categories. Professor Johannes Verkuyl writes from Holland, "It is a most remarkable collection of documents... I have never seen such a fine collection which one can only find scattered in many books and libraries. I will surely recommend, it to my colleagues here in the Netherlands and in Europe. I hope it may stimulate prayers and plans for new strategies in a new age without departing from the base of world missions in the Old and New Testaments."