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Dynamics of international mission in the Methodist Church Ghana

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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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1. Mission from the majority world

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This last generation has seen a significant shift in World Christianity. The demographic centre of gravity has moved to the global South,1 and with the new state of Christianity, one reality is that mission has been emanating from the new heartlands of the church. Though it is argued by some that the North still maintains a degree of theological and financial ascendency in World Christianity,2 the growing existence of Christians from the majority world beyond their homelands is having a bearing on the nature of the universal church. This presence is being understood in light of Christian mission, and such a perspective challenges some of the missiological understandings of the modern missionary movement (MMM).3

As early as the 1970s, a handful of scholars began to take note of the inchoate actuality of macro-trends in what has emerged as a kairos4 in the whole of church history.5 It was becoming evident that ‘the new chapter of Christian history’, was ‘… a Christianity without Christendom, a Christianity more and more determined by the southern continents.’6 Christianity was emerging as a ‘true world faith’ and ← 23 | 24 → at the same time ‘becoming a non-Western religion’.7 With these different realities come new topics to examine, and certainly, mission from the majority world is a subject worthy of exploration.

1.1 Aims and objectives

This book elucidates some shifts of epic proportions by looking at a particular case study that can be illustrative of some of...

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