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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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3. Specifying the situation: the Methodist Church Ghana and international mission

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If mission from the majority world is indeed emerging with a different paradigm, then it is helpful to examine cases that give insights into this framework. One such example would be the Methodist Church Ghana (MCG). With a long history and sizable presence beyond its geographical borders, this church, based in the global South offers a rich case study.

3.1 Ample documentation

One of the legacies of the British Methodist Church (BMC) in the MCG has been a propensity to keep meticulous records. In an effort to ‘gather, preserve, hold title to, and disseminate materials on the history of The Methodist Church Ghana’,1 an entire church division on History, Archives and Library has been established. Until recent changes, as a constitutionally mandated division, preserving the history had the same institutional priority as the divisions of Youth Ministries, Ordained Ministry, and Finance and Budget.2 The Methodist archive is housed in Wesley House, the headquarters of the Methodist Church Ghana in Accra. Held in this repository are many pre-independence (from British Methodism in 1961) and post-independence reports as well as conference proceedings. Also held in this air-conditioned room are many synodal reports, photographs, and ephemera such as flyers and bulletins.3 Primary sources are available to study the activities of the MCG. ← 85 | 86 →

3.2 Rich history

History is highly valued in the cultures of Ghana.4 Rather than simply being an exercise of record, historical narrative plays an important role ‘because the...

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