When I was at language school I was swapping stories with my language teacher. I was asking him about the collections of bottles of water you often see outside Japanese houses around the obon season; I had been assured by an experience missionary that they were offerings to the spirits of the ancestors who returned to earth at obon, so that they could have a drink on their journey. Well, not exactly, said my language teacher; they’re there to reflect the sunlight into cats’ eyes and stop cats peeing on people’s gardens. Read more about Bamboo Tree and Christmas Tree
There are a couple of really good articles going around about short-term mission at the moment, and so the main purpose of this post is to make sure you’ve read:
Someone asked if this applies to Japan, and so as a bonus here are my half-baked thoughts on the subject: Read more about Who does short term mission help?
What benefit do people get from all the effort
which they expend on earth?
A generation comes and a generation goes,
but the earth remains the same through the ages.
I have about five or six blog posts in the queue to finish writing, most of which are either quite long and involved, or require tact, or both. I have been getting stuck in my writing, so here’s something quick to get the ball rolling again. Read more about Most Mission Isn't Missional
Eight years ago, Thomas Hastings and Mark Mullins wrote an excellent article about the congregational leadership crisis facing the Japanese church [free subscription to IMBR required]. They said Read more about The congregational leadership crisis still facing the Japanese church
A few months ago, our neighbours downstairs—a family with two young children—went missing. They apparently left the house as one would find it every day, with a pram and a bike outside the door, (and even the children’s bubble toy) and disappeared.
Last month, the owners of the flats went in the flats to change the locks, (presumably checking for bodies as they did so) and posted a notice on the door asking them to get in touch as soon as possible. They haven’t. Read more about Japanese culture in pictures: Yonige
Mission work is full of military metaphors: we talk about “targeting” individuals, “mobilizing” workers for an “advance” on the “field”. Many organisations have realised that this kind of talk is deeply inappropriate, but it still remains perhaps because there is an underlying mindset which still thinks in those terms. In particular, mission in the age of the buster and boomer generations is still based on a command-and-control mentality. Read more about Millennials in Mission
“Man is God appearing in the universe, appearing visibly in the midst of all he created. That changes the meaning of man, doesn’t it?
“I can see you Masai shaking your heads and saying, No! Man is not God. We know man, and he is filled with evil. He fights, he kills, he destroys, he does everything to separate others, and to separate himself from them.