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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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8. Models of diaspora mission

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As was demonstrated in the previous chapter, migration is a major aspect of mission in this day, and it plays a central role in the conceptualisation of international mission in the MCG. Some of the theoretical voices explored dealt with the nature of how churches are formed, the level of cross-cultural intentionality employed in evangelism, as well as the transnational nature of migrant mission.

Yet, it is also beneficial to have categories that differentiate the nature of diaspora mission so as to sort out particulars in relation to 1) who the primary actors are, 2) with whom the mission is engaged, and 3) the location of the mission. Diaspora mission is such a broad concept, and for the sake of this book, I shall pay close attention to the categories in which individuals in diasporic situations and the diaspora communities themselves are the agents of mission and not simply the recipients of mission. I shall look at Jan Jongeneel’s typology, which was used and tweaked by Gerrit Noort as well as the categorisation put forth by the Lausanne movement. I then proceed to suggest working models of explaining various approaches to diaspora mission.

The purpose of this chapter is to give classification to diverse phenomena. In an effort to simplify and clarify matters, each category runs the risk of communicating that cultures are neatly defined bounded sets.1 However, I agree with Magesa that the ‘unrealistic classicist mentality…saw cultures as monolithic, un-changing entities’ despite...

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