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Allowing Scripture to Guide Our Communications through Missiological Reflection
by Florence Wamae
About five years ago, I attended a meeting with the global communications team of the organization I served in. The team was comprised of individuals drawn from the four regions of the ministry: Africa, Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. This became one of the most important and defining events in my work as a missions communicator going forward. The main thrust of the meeting was to help us pause and reflect on not only our work activities or even the impact of those activities, but more about our motivation, based on the state of our hearts and minds as we tell the story of what God is doing around the world.
Drawing from Dr. William Taylor (Global Missiology for the 21st Century), the executive director, who had called this meeting, urged us to be “women and men of both action and study, rooted in the Word of God and the Church of Christ, obedient to the power of God’s Spirit to the great commission in all its fullness, servants who are globalized in perspective, citizens of their own cultures but also the world, and leaders who are passionate of heart and who also reflect the heart of Christ.”
This statement continues to be a profound and prophetic one in light of the state of world we are called to serve in. The discussions that ensued focused on research by the Christian grantmaking foundation First Fruits Inc. on the events that are affecting the world around the themes of religion, influence and power, human rights, conflict and crises, and economic factors. It has been interesting to then observe how some of these – such as religious extremism, and the hunger and thirst for influence and power – have affected the world today. Now, the world is experiencing an unforeseen global pandemic – it did not even appear in the First Fruits Inc. survey as one of the issues that would affect the world.
As I considered my role as a communicator, I began to realize that reflecting on the Mission of God was foundational to my work. Missiological reflection has helped me see how God has worked in different times in history and also to recognize how he is at work in the present day. Reflecting on the mission of God helps communicators to shift our interest from only activities and products to telling the story of God’s mission in our day in a way that inspires the Church, God’s chosen partner in missions, to be involved.
Our stories told in words, pictures and videos need to be told from a place of humility and a deep understanding that our God is on Mission and His mission is always on course regardless of world happenings. To do this, communicators need times of study and missiological reflection, particularly when working in cross-cultural settings where meanings can be interpreted in many ways. Kingdom partners and friends skilled in missiology can help with missiological reflection if an organization does not have its own missiologists.