Wednesday, May 03, 2006

emerging AD:missions 3

emergingadmission1.jpg a series of posts called emerging AD:missions; reflecting on the emerging church in light of mission thinking.

ITINERANT EVANGELISTS: Eusebius of Caesarea, Readings in World Mission, page 7-8.

So, how did early Christianity, birthed into a pluralistic and multi-cultural world, become, in the space of several centuries, the dominant world religion? Firstly, becase of a lifestyle of influence (emerging AD:missions 1 post). Secondly, for Eusebius of Caesarea, the use of evangelistic pilgrimage. Following the example of Jesus, the wandering rural peasant, Eusebius describes people in the early church; “entering upon long journeys … As soon as they had only laid the foundations of the faith in some foreign land they appointed others … but they themselves went on to other lands and peoples with the grace and co-operation of God.”

And now we live in the 21st century. Evangelistic pilgrimage has to overcome the practical realities that include a world of mortgages, individual households and visa and entry requirements. Equally, we face a globalised society, an information age and an internet culture. Every day we can participate in a global wander through blogs and cyber-sites. Today it is both easier and harder to wander.

I ponder the mission challenge that might lie in the rhythm of these early wanderers – a speaking and a walking; a scattering and a gathering; a communal hospitality and an individual journey. How to discern and follow this rhythm in our lives and in our communities? Eusebius honours both those who plant and those who pastor. At times the emerging conversation seems far more monochrome and settled than Eusebius’s missiology.

For an introduction to emerging AD:missions, go here.
For all the posts in this series go here.

Posted by steve at 05:00 PM

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