We have largely viewed theology and missiology through the lens of individualism. This worked in practice because the traditional mission world came from those with a largely individualistic worldview. The church and missions movement has the exciting possibility of growing in richness and maturity as those with a largely community-based worldview begin to influence it. What are the implications of such a change in our missions paradigm?
Interserve faces the challenge of developing ‘new wine skins’. Simply tweaking the old system, sewing up the seams that are straining from the content of the new thing that God is doing, is not going to be adequate to enable us successfully to navigate through the years ahead. We need to discover a new method of Biblically-driven, value-based collaboration. The reality of Missio Dei must permeate the whole of missions – the Mission is His.
This means our primary mission narrative is about God transforming a nation through the Interserve community rather than an individual going somewhere to do a piece of work and asking churches to come alongside and support them. Of course, individuals make up that community, but an individual’s calling only finds its validity within the purposes that God is achieving through the community.
It will require us to move away from a focus on our individual ministries to being a part of the bigger picture of God’s work in a nation. We will need to be able to have the wisdom to see how God is connecting the dots of the seemingly unrelated work of our Partners in a nation to achieve His purposes through us. It will require us to surrender to His purposes rather than hold on to ours.
And who is equal to such a task? We can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
Dr Bijoy Koshy is the International Director of Interserve.