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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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7. The role of migration in mission

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7.1 Introduction

In chapter four, it became clear that the MCG’s international presence is often conceptualized by the interviewees as being in the global North, and this was verified by other sources pointing to a disproportionate emphasis on ministerial personnel going to this part of the world as an expression of mission. Through various models put forth in chapter five, one aspect of international mission in the MCG particularly in these situations outside the majority world is that it is an approach to ministry conducted primarily amongst expatriate Ghanaian communities. This chapter seeks to understand and assess the nature of mission conducted through Ghanaian migration.

7.2 Ghanaian migration

Ghanaian progeny Kofi Annan recently stated that migration was ‘a profoundly binding dimension of the human experience. Through migration, human beings share an understanding of sorrow, hope, and compassion.’1 Ghanaians play their part in this human experience. Many of the origin myths among the ethnic groups in Ghana talk of the migration of their forebears to the geographical area.2 After their initial arrivals in what is present-day Ghana, the peoples of that area continued to move around ‘as they tried to escape from intertribal wars, and also look for new opportunities for trade, farming, and the like.’3 ‘Africans traveled voluntarily throughout much of the world long before the slave trade existed.’4 With increasing interaction with the European powers, millions of Africans were forcibly transplanted especially to the Americas as slaves, passing through the castles...

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