I was asked for a review of a book for its Korean publication
The Society for Missions to Africa and the East, now known as Church Mission Society (CMS) was founded in 1799, well over 2 centuries old. Many thousands have gone out from the west, following the CALL to ‘preach Good News’ and to take the Gospel into all the world.
This has resulted in enormous changes in society with the establishment of health and social services, educational institutions, agricultural work, community development and well as the founding of many churches.
My own mission journey over the last 25 years, took us as a family to Pakistan to work with drug addicts and subsequently as a CMS Regional Director to work in Europe, Middle East, Central and South Asia and more recently journeys into East Asia.
I have seen that Mission is indeed changing as we respond to the mission of God - ‘missio Dei’ – and do what we see the Father doing. The call to mission is as relevant as it ever was. This year 2010, conferences in Japan and South Africa have been echoing the call of Edinburgh 1910. But there has been a major change in mission since then - a southern shift – with the Global South taking a lead and seeing new waves of people released for God’s mission in the world.
CMS is continuing to be ‘on call’ as an organisation in Britain and Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America. The CMS office in Korea, based in Seoul, represents a part of a shift in CMS as it moves its work from being based in Europe to becoming autonomous organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
This book which was written in one context - the Global North – drawing on the vast experience of mission over two centuries. It will find echoes in other wider and emerging mission contexts in the Global South. It has now been translated into Korean – the second largest formal missionary sending country in the world and its impact could be greater than the English version. It will help many to explore their own sense of call in more depth.
This Korean edition is an exciting new development. It will be particularly useful for individuals exploring their own call as well as pastors and churches wanting to send and support their people in mission. We are more and more discovering that the church is indeed ‘Mission-shaped’. This means that individual Christians are also ‘mission-shaped’ and being ‘on Call’ includes mission on our doorstep with our own neighbours as well as, for some, working internationally.
This book is a resource for all in the same way as the gospel is a call to all.