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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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4. Analyzing the location, agents, means, and extent of international mission in the Methodist Church Ghana

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4.1 Introduction

The remainder of the book is concerned with interrogating primary sources. Through data analysis and interpretation, the following chapter is foundational for bringing out themes that will be further assessed in the subsequent chapters. This particular chapter walks through raw data from interviews conducted between June 2011 and October 2013 amongst Methodists with some type of relationship to the MCG who were resident either in Ghana, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, or Germany. The approach here looks at actual quotes from the interviews and then systematically analyses the coded comments expressed in the interviews.1 The analysis then makes comparisons between relevant constituent groups within the Methodist Church Ghana.

Firstly, I examine the location in which the international mission of the MCG takes place, and then I look at the nature of the mission praxis. After these two steps, I assess the motivating underpinnings of the mission activities. In other words, the data are analysed to determine the ‘where’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ of the MCG’s international mission efforts. Then, the data are evaluated for the purpose of answering the second half of the primary research question, ‘to what extent does the MCG place priority on international mission?’ This is accomplished with fuzzy set designations. Conclusions are made in light of the corpus of interviews and will be verified for broader application by other sources in subsequent chapters.

4.2 Where: the location of international mission

In first...

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