The mission of open source: Evangelism

My professional life has two parts to it; the first part is as a software developer, and the second part is as a missionary. Sometimes I get to combine the two things and write open source software that powers the work of mission; but other times I’m literally getting out there spending time with people who are interested in Jesus. Read more about The mission of open source: Evangelism

Evangelism: For whose benefit?

I’ve heard it said that one of the big differences between communication in the West and communication in the East is about who has the burden of understanding. In the West, it’s up to the speaker to make themselves understood—if a listener doesn’t understand, they ask questions to force the speaker to clarify themselves; if you do any speaking in the East, you will find that there are much fewer questions—it’s up to a listener to understand, and if they don’t, they go away and think about what was said until they do. Read more about Evangelism: For whose benefit?

Ten reasons for missionaries not to evangelise

  1. You make yourself unavailable to the pastoral needs of your church members.
  2. You lose the opportunity for fellowship with other missionaries and church leaders.
  3. You can’t evangelise yet; you need to put more time into building the relationship.
  4. Sermons don’t write themselves, Bible studies don’t prepare themselves.
  5. It’s more important to train other people to do the work instead of doing it yourself.
  6. There’s an important meeting about proposed changes to the denominational organisational structure that you should be at instead.

Advocacy and Evangelism

I’ve thought on a few occasions that there’s a big crossover between what I used to do in Open Source and what I now do in Church work. As a really good example, I’m currently taking a course in “building transformational communities”; meanwhile, Skud is writing a series of blog posts on the craft of community and putting together a community management wiki. Read more about Advocacy and Evangelism

Worlds unto themselves

The wonderful David Bosch says in “Transforming Mission” that we need to realise that different religions are “worlds unto themselves”. What he means is that it is impossible to enter into dialogue with someone with a different religious commitment to you and assume that your viewpoints are going to be the same; different religions either come from or give rise to different worldviews, which are incommensurable. When a Christian talks about God incarnating himself amongst his creation, he's saying something good; but someone with a Buddhist background is hearing something bad, and someone with an Islamic background is hearing something impossible. I remember Dave Burnett taking apart John 3:16 and showing how it meant to a Buddhist listener the opposite of what it means to a Christian listener. God loving the world? What an unGodlike thing to do! Eternal life? That's what I'm trying to get away from!