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Christian Mission Methodology

The successful expansion of ideas and beliefs relies heavily on the methodology chosen by those who embark on this mission. The purpose of each Christian missionary is to transmit the ideas provided in the Gospel to a new audience, taking into consideration its cultural code and particularities. The effective choice of methodology at this stage is a crucial element of the mission’s overall success. Multiple historical accounts reflect how Christian activists approached the discussed objective. An examination of such stories reveals that the Gospel demonstrates high potential in terms of its communication capability. From the historical perspective, this important feature enabled the outreach mission to pre-Christian civilizations, ensuring the further expansion of the Gospel across the globe.

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The mission’s primary difficulty consists of the fact that the audience may demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge regarding the principles and the message of the Gospel. Hunter (2000) writes that such civilizations, unfamiliar with Christianity, were widely believed to be unreachable. Nevertheless, the Celtic Christian movement managed to devise an effective approach, which allowed it to establish communication with Western Europe, Ireland, England, and Scotland. Hunter (2000) highlights the importance of background and context in each communicative situation, as they enable specific persuasive opportunities in particular scenarios. Celtic missionaries recognized the power of imagination in the context of their objective, taking a corresponding approach to explaining the Gospel. In other words, they took the time to familiarize themselves with the audience, as well as its principles and beliefs. Consequently, mutual trust was established, allowing Patrick and other British missionaries to seize the complexity of the mindset of the local population (Hunter, 2000). The case of the Christianization of the British Isles highlights the importance of agility and the process of communicating the Gospel.

The example discussed above is not unique in the history of the mission. As a matter of fact, the expansion of the Gospel faced multiple challenges caused by the Christian leaders’ inability to establish effective communication with the recipients of the Lord’s Word. According to Pierson (2009), numerous failed attempts at presenting Christianity to new people were explained as the inability of the latter to appreciate the message. At the same time, the actual issue behind such unfortunate developments lies in the fact the missionaries failed to adjust their presentation to the cultural context of their audiences. If the Gospel and its principles had been presented inconceivable terms, it would have been possible to expect better results in a shorter period. This was the case of Patrick, who managed to launch a full-fledged Christian movement in Ireland in the 5th century A.D (Hunter, 2000). Therefore, the correct methodology of the mission consists of a culturally aware, pointed approach to each population. It demonstrates respect for the audience and its values, thus increasing the chances of receiving trust in return.

Overall, the methodology has been the key aspect of the mission for centuries. Depending on its choice and implementation, the methodology can become both an enabler and an impediment. The history of the Christian church has seen examples of poor selection of approaches, leading to a complete lack of response from the audience. If a culture-oriented methodology had been selected, the Church would have been able to fulfill the immense expansion potential of the Gospel with better efficiency. While there are numerous historical accounts, both positive and negative, the principle of culture-oriented methodology remains particularly relevant today, when society is characterized by a high level of diversity.

References

Hunter III, G. G. (2000). The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can reach the West…Again. Abingdon Press.

Pierson, P. (2009). The dynamics of Christian mission: History through a missiological perspective. William Carey International University Press.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Christian Mission Methodology." July 5, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/christian-mission-methodology/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Christian Mission Methodology'. 5 July.

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