A Vision for Mission
There are many different understandings of mission among Christians. Some have seen it in terms of converting people to Christianity (or to their own Christian denomination, such as Lutheran). Others have focused more on assisting people in need through relief work and development programs. My work is with ELCA Global Mission, which understands mission in a more holistic sense and focuses on the concept of “accompaniment.” For more on this understanding of mission, please see the excellent materials on the ELCA Global Mission website by CLICKING HERE
Another excellent resource for understanding mission is that of the Lutheran World Federation. See especially their document on mission available by CLICKING HERE.
In recent times, the role of missionaries has changed greatly, especially in churches such as the ELCA that understand mission in terms of accompaniment. On the changing role of missionaries, see the document attached below, «The Changing Role of the Missionary.»
As can be expected, as a missionary, over the years I myself have reflected a great deal on mission work and the role of missionaries. Several of the things I have written on the subject of mission and theology are attached at the bottom of my page «Theological Work.» In 2008, I was asked to do a presentation on mission for the Assembly of the ELCA Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod, and I put this on a Power Point presentation titled «Seeing with Other Eyes: Mission for Our Sake.» In it I share some of my own ideas and perspectives on the basis of three paradigms that I developed: the Paradigm of Superiority, the Paradigm of Plurality, and the Paradigm of Mutuality. I would encourage you to examine this presentation, which is attached below.