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Dynamics of international mission in the Methodist Church Ghana


Kirk Sims

This book assesses the conceptualisation of international mission in the Methodist Church Ghana. It demonstrates that Ghanaian Methodists possess a robust ecclesiology with roots in the Akan concept of «abusua» and an evangelical theology rooted in John Wesley. The author gives interpretations to the ways mission takes place and proposes twelve models of mission whereby members of diasporic communities are agents of mission. As mission is seen a responsibility of the whole church, mission is a common theme related to the migration of Ghanaian Methodists to other contexts, often understood in terms of in the global North. The church’s presence in North America and Europe presents challenges and opportunities that must be negotiated in a broader Methodist mainline milieu.

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Central terminology


Although a religious studies perspective was undertaken, the use of theological words was unavoidable; one such term was mission. In broad discussion, mission is used rather than missions as the former indicates a fuller understanding of joining with God’s activities of redemption, and the latter is more concerned with the missio ecclesiae, the mission of the church.1 Over the last few decades, mission has become the word of choice in the field of missiology.2 Through the research, both the espoused and the operant theological understandings of mission in the Methodist Church Ghana were elucidated rather than simply presenting my own theological positions. This is consistent with the non-normative approach discussed in chapter two.

Majority world

According to Stephen Neill, prior to 1948, Christianity essentially divided the world into two spheres: the Christian world and the non-Christian world.3 Ironically, the area of the globe once seen as geographically the home of the non-Christian world has now become the heartland of the world church as a majority of Christians now live outside the western world.4 In keeping with some of the most recent missiological works pertaining to this book, I followed the lead of Enoch Wan: ‘“Majority world”…is a descriptive label highlighting the fact that countries within this category are populated by the majority of humankind demographically’ and that term ‘lacks any negative connotation or judgmental evaluation.’5 By and large, it is used ← 291 | 292 → to describe the...

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