Post-colonial missionAugust 2019GP0|#c82282c9-ac80-45f6-8913-587c567bdd34;L0|#0c82282c9-ac80-45f6-8913-587c567bdd34|Extending Beyond;GTSet|#bb9274b4-45fe-43f1-8b69-3df0b933cdb0;GPP|#a82c2124-212e-4f7a-b626-9a0c5a3534c2;GPP|#96e4d92c-656e-45f6-9cd5-ab8aed108e3chttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/publications/Extending Beyond/536/Post-colonial missionPost-colonial missionExtending Beyond

 

 

<p>The modern missionary movement’s greatest advance came during the period when colonial powers were engaged in a massive land-grab in the global south. To be sure, many missionaries were actively engaged in resisting some of the heinous, even brutal, excesses of colonial expansion and rapacious greed that dispossessed people of their lands, livelihood, and cultural treasures. At the same time, waves of missionaries sailed from their home countries, with a deep sense of obligation that too often made little distinction between communicating the gospel and conferring the benefits of what they considered a superior civilization upon the unenlightened (sometimes referred to as savages) in the colonial territories. Many tragic outcomes resulted from these beliefs. Whole cultures were infantilized, and local agency and initiative were destroyed. The locals were rendered dependents of the outsiders and were themselves made to feel like outsiders within the very places that had been their homes.  </p><p>It is, indeed, a mystery of unfathomable proportions that the church of Jesus Christ grew and flourished in the global south, especially in Africa, which experienced the compounding atrocity of the slave trade that killed millions even before they arrived in the slaving nations, many of which claimed a Christian identity. For the mystery of this growth we give thanks, even if the Christian faith that was imposed bore little resemblance to Jesus of Nazareth. Along with giving thanks it is imperative that we repent of the harm and the suffering that was caused by mission. We are duty bound to change our approach so that the good news we seek to proclaim is consistent with the “fullness of life” that Jesus promised to all those who responded to God’s reign.  </p><p>For the last several decades, Mennonite Mission Network (and our predecessor agencies) have been on a journey to move away from any form of mission characterized by imperialistic and denigrating paternalistic approaches. The title of a text published by three former long-term members of the Mennonite team in the Chaco (Willis Horst, Ute Mueller-Eckhardt, and Frank Paul), which is supported by Mennonite Mission Network, Mission Without Conquest (also published in Spanish as Misión Sin Conquista) captures our commitment to the form of mission in which we intend to be engaged. This alternative mode of being in mission is to walk in the way of Jesus, embracing weakness and vulnerability instead of with attitudes of superiority. Our priority is to respect the integrity, creativity and dignity of those with whom we work in a spirit of reciprocity and mutuality. </p><p>We give thanks for the ways the Spirit of God transformed our sometimes flawed and often faltering efforts in mission in the past, enabling a vibrant church to grow in the global south even despite the flaws in our efforts.  </p><p>Thank you for joining us on this journey. We are grateful that you walk with us even as we seek to walk in the way of Jesus as we bear witness to the good news of God’s reign before a waiting world.  <br></p><p>Stanley W. Green<br>Executive Director<br><br></p>

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Post-colonial missionhttps://assets.mennonites.org/Downloads/ExTending_Aug_C19-take2_WEB.pdfPost-colonial missionEnglish

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