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Missio Nexus will be hosting their upcoming North American Mission Leaders Conference in Dallas, TX this September 19th-21st 2013.  Special guest speakers will include Francis Chan, David Platt, and key local mission leaders from Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  It should be a powerful time.

In the meantime, Missio Nexus President Steve Moore has been traveling across the country to seven different cities presenting the findings of a recent survey of Mission CEOs in North America. The goal of the survey was to find out what specific challenges mission leaders are facing in the 21st century and how they are preparing (or not) to meet those challenges.

The campus of the U.S. Center for World Mission was the site for the meeting held here in Pasadena.  I want to share with you a few of my takeaways from our meeting.

Missio Nexus Connection Event at U.S. Center for World Mission (Photo courtesy of Darrell Dorr)

Missio Nexus Connection Event at U.S. Center for World Mission (Photo courtesy of Darrell Dorr)

Author and mobilizer Paul Borthwick spoke on the topic of “The Role of North Americans in Global Mission.” Paul’s most recent book, “Western Christians in Global Mission: What’s the Role of the North American Church?” is a book I look forward to reading & reviewing soon.

Paul Borthwick (Photo courtesy of Darrell Dorr)

Paul Borthwick (Photo courtesy of Darrell Dorr)

Here are a few of my takeaways from Borthwick’s talk:

  • What’s the role of the North American church?  It depends.
  • “Too big to do alone” (missions) is a global theme.
  • From every nation to every nation.” -We (America) are somebody else’s “ends of the earth.”
  • The issue for the N. American church is not whether or not we get out of the race, but where do we fit in the team.
  • Will the N. American mission movement march in the global missions parade if we are not leading it?
  • Not the decline of the West, but the rise of the Rest.
  • The rest of the world doesn’t believe the book of Acts is over.
  • What is the role in pioneering versus joining versus leaving?
  • One of our strengths in North America is Initiative and Optimism
  • Our optimism can also be naive.  We need to take the initiative to listen more.
Findings of the Mission CEO survey (Photo courtesy of Darrell Dorr)

Findings of the Mission CEO survey (Photo courtesy of Darrell Dorr)

 Takeaways from the Missio Nexus findings:

  • Major changes in mission structures will be needed to meet the challenges of a new era.
  • Changes are akin to pedaling two bikes at the same time.  Riding one while attempting to jump onto another.
  • There are “preparedness gaps” in mission. Gaps between knowing what needs to be done and actually being ready and willing to face those challenges.
  • Some of mission leaders greatest needs are in the areas of external Communications, Media, Mobilization, and Placement of personnel.
  • There are tensions between what is expected from North America and the values of the national leaders and cultures where we serve.
  • Stakeholders are looking not just a presence (where you are working) but also activity, results, and mutuality.

The banner of Missio Nexus is

“The Great Commission is too big for anyone to accomplish alone and too important not to try to do together.”

It has been said that Christian mission is the largest and most complex endeavor in human history; spanning every nation, involving millions of people, and billions of dollars every year.

If so, it is good to know that there are some who are thinking and reflecting on where we have been and where we are going.  Though I don’t feel adequate to the task many times, I am thankful to be a part of that group.

What about you?

Have you thought of the scope and scale of global missions?  Do any of these things resonate with you or intrigue you?  Where do you see changes in global mission? How are they affecting your own ministry or church?

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