God is a missionary God. To restore His rule in the world, God works actively, but he does not work alone. God calls people and works with them and through them (Gen. 12:1; 2 Pet. 2:9) We call the fifth book of the New Testament as ‘The Acts of Apostles’ or ‘The Acts of the Holy Spirit’. The Book of Acts describes the work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles.
It is true that the mission environment today is hostile and there are many oppositions. It was the same in Paul’s days. The Apostle Paul said, “because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” (1 Cor. 16:9) Kingdom workers, therefore, shall make every opportunity to preach the good news of the kingdom. The best strategy, of course, is to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and depend on His power. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Zech. 4:6). Proverbs chapter 21 verse 30 also says, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” We, however, need to develop effective strategies to make success in our ministries for God’s kingdom. “Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.” (Prov. 20:28)
The theme of the 64th issue of Asia Missions Advance is “Opportunities and Strategies for World Missions.” Dr. Sadiri Joy Tira in his article “A Mission Strategy for Local Churches to the Diaspora” talks about diaspora missiology and the role of local churches in reaching diaspora. Dr. Atul Y. Aghamkar in his article “Christian Mission in the Religious Pluralistic Urban India: Challenges and Opportunities” introduces the religious pluralistic context of India to us and suggests strategies for winning people in India. Dr. Nelson Jennings in his articles “God Brings Missionaries: Multireligious Implications for Those Who Go, Receive, and Pray” asserts that our passionate God calls and sends passionate people to restore the world and that God’s people must go, come, and pray passionately as the passionate God inspires and directs us. Dr. Esther Park in her article “Cultural Anthropological Aspects of Doing Missions in the Philippines” emphasizes that missionaries cannot effectively minister if they are ignorant of the culture of the people they serve. And Dr. Jason Valeriano Hallig in his article “Ministers As Servant Leaders ‘Diakonos’ in Second Corinthians” discusses on the servant leadership. He emphasizes that failure to serve is a failure of leadership.
All the writers of the articles in this 64th issue on opportunities and strategies for missions share with the readers how to carry on mission in the given contexts. May you obtain insights and learn lessons as you read the articles in this bulletin.
– Timothy K. Park, Editor