Integral Mission and Micah Global
Towards Integral Mission
We all walk around with the most incredible library at our fingertips. 66 books which are full of drama, songs and poetry, an amazing love story worked out through the stories of people, individuals, communities and nations. This library collection is the grand narrative outlining God’s heart and mission for his creation – we call it the Bible. In a recent Micah gathering we asked the tough question of why it was so hard to bring Christians together from the aid sector, from mission organisations, from colleges and from the local church. We wondered if it was jargon differences, or priority foci? Rev CB Samuel from India (one of our Micah Global theologian practitioners) answered that in his opinion it was biblical illiteracy. Aid practitioners often cherry-pick verses from the Bible to support their practical mandates (e.g. feeding the poor, caring for the refugee). Church leaders tended to focus on the spiritual care of their parishioners, missing out the heart of justice for the world that runs through Scripture. College lecturers specialise on their module specifics. We all seem to miss the overarching message of the Bible, namely God’s missional agenda for all of creation (humanity and creation), what we call integral mission.
Unintentionally we begin to create dichotomies:
- Sacred and Secular: If Jesus Christ is Lord of everyone and everything what is secular? We live our whole lives before God. The Bible shows us how everything is connected from politics, to family life, to individual decisions. The declaration that Jesus is Lord was a profoundly political statement and we are called to live out this declaration in and through all we do and say.
- Private and Public: Western Christianity is particular vulnerable to this dichotomy. If our faith is kept private it loses its relevance to society. Our desire to be perceived as “politically correct” erodes our saltiness. Jesus was seen as a threat to society because he challenged their values and allegiances – he did so from selfless love.
- Individual and Community: Somehow we have shared a very anthropocentric and individualistic Gospel. It seems to be about meeting human need and we see Jesus coming to us and walking with us in our ministry, whereas the Bible shows a different perspective – it is about us being in Christ, walking with him in his mission. Redemption is not just for humanity but for the whole of creation.
- Proclamation and Demonstration: We have spent so many years arguing over which is primary when the real question we should be asking is how do we obediently live out God’s mission, which requires us to both proclaim the Good News as well as demonstrate the love of Christ through all we do and say. See how this is explained below:
– Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
– Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
Micah was established back in 2001 by a group of Christian ministries seeking to address these dichotomies that were arising, and together to explore, share, and learn how to be more effective in our desire to demonstrate God’s Kingdom in all we do and say. To re-orient ourselves into God’s Mission.
One of the most effective ways we do this is by engaging together through the diverse cultural and experiential lenses we bring to the table, and draw from the whole of God’s missional agenda as shared through the whole of Scripture. We seek to capture our discussions and learning through various publication formats such as the Micah M-Series, thematic papers and books published in various languages, in recordings of presentations and consultations, and through pooling of resources (theological and practical) so as to enrich the whole body of Christ as we long to see communities living life in all its fullness, free from poverty, injustice and conflict.
We are thrilled to work with Langham Partnership in this shared vision and to see our partner publication of Missio Politica: The Mission of Church and Politics by Johannes Reimer published in November. I hope you enjoy reading it as it is a compelling vision for the church and the political arena, something which is relevant to us all.
To find out more about integral mission and Micah Global visit micahglobal.org and join us at our next Global Consultation which will be held in the Philippines from the 10th to 14th September 2018 with the theme: Integral Mission and Resilient Communities. You can also order our M Series and other publications through the Langham catalogue.
Together in His Mission,
International Director, Micah GlobalTags: books, Events, integral mission, Langham Literature, Langham Partnership, Micah Global, mission of God, partnership, Publishing