When God called his followers to tell others about the good news that Jesus is for this world, he didn’t create global mission agencies, instead, he called his church to the task. Mission agencies, like the Wycliffe Global Alliance that I work for, haven’t replaced the church in this role (or at least we shouldn’t have), but we have found that at this point in history, for some tasks (like Bible translation) agencies such as the Alliance appear to be the most effective way of achieving some things.
However, the call to the church hasn’t disappeared or been replaced by the agencies. So, we as an Alliance face a challenge, to consider how we work as an expression of the church’s missional calling.
What does that look like isn’t an easy question to answer. While the Church is global, there are many different churches. Some international, some local, with a variety of structures and a variety of attitudes to mission all mixed in. Should we be listening to all of them? How? What happens when they disagree?
This week I’m in Germany taking part in a Consultation on Ecclesiology – a conversation about the place of the church in the way the Alliance works. I hope we will get into some of these questions and begin to think about the kind of attitudes we should have to the church and consider how we should be making space for the church to speak into the Bible translation movements.
If that sounds a bit dry and technical, maybe I’ll be able to write more later in the week that illustrates what this is all about.