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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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5. International mission through the modality

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As was discussed at length in chapter one, much of the discourse regarding international mission over the last few centuries could categorically fall into the paradigmatic thinking of the modern missionary movement (MMM). A hallmark of the MMM has indeed been a missionary sending agency, which may be a voluntary society or board within a denomination which deploys professional missionaries to distant lands as ambassadors for Christ. Though the academy has a much broader perspective on mission than this, the intellectual foundation upholding this paradigm is still present in missiological discussions. The primacy of mission agencies from the MMM has the capacity to flavour identifying and conceptualizing mission from the majority world, at least by authors from or educated in the older homelands of Christianity in the global North.1 If the presence of a missionary agency is the manifest sign of mission emphasis on and activity as understood by the MMM, then the Methodist Church will come up lacking. If, however, a definition of mission does not necessitate this type of sodality, one can see the missional perspective understood and celebrated by the MCG. The MCG’s missional outlook is more appropriately interpreted in light of Winter’s description of a modality2 and may appropriately fit into the discourse of the nascent writings of the ‘missional church’ movement.

5.1 Modalities and sodalities

Hailed as one of the most influential Evangelical Christians in his generation,3 Ralph Winter was a formidable voice at the first Lausanne Congress...

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