Friday, October 19, 2012

What is missiology?

I wrote this at the start of 2010, as the inaugural Director of Missiology, being asked to develop a new missiology stream at Uniting College, which included history and theology, but expected it to be taught out of a Missio Dei perspective. I came across it again this morning and wanted to note it here as placeholder.

“a time when missiology (reflection) is as important as mission (action)” – Ross Langmead

Missiology IS NOT Colonialisation-ology, although it has been and can still can be. Nor is it Growing churches-ology, although it has been and can still can be.

Missiology IS participation in God’s purposes in the world, with particular attention to the voice of the other.

It asks questions about God and humans: including “what is God up to in the world?” and “what does it mean for humans to participate in that activity?” It is aware that these questions have been asked before and in other cultures, and so looks to church history and theology for challenge and inspiration.

Missiology skills
1. Be able to articulate mission then, mission now, both in Australia and across history
2. Ability to read contemporary contexts, both local and in general popular culture
3. Experience cross-cultural
4. Be able to work with the theological tradition in light of contemporary questions
5. Demonstrate ability to connect Uniting Church practices with contemporary spiritual searchers
6. Be able to cultivate leadership – whether a mission hub, forming a new expression, community development, salt and light in workplace

Posted by steve at 08:46 AM


  1. I thought about this the other day. What is the church’s mission in the world? What would it look like? Over the last five weeks the Sunday service at the Port Augusta Congress Faith Community has been turned on its ear literally. The 11.00am church service took to the highways and by ways of Port Augusta. Five groups where formed: Singing group, sporting group, craft group, coffee group, visitation group. The aim of those five weeks was to add 1 person to the group in that moment of were they where meeting.
    For the members of PACFC church suddenly became something else through those five group activites. It was a life changing time for some of our members. From an Aboriginal perspective we’ve called this waterhole theology. Aboriginal people travelled this land via waterholes. Places of being refreshed and preperation for the ongoing journey. These five groups are those waterholes where people from the local community in Port Augusta have engaged and have found church or if you like missi[ng]ology a refreshing experience!

    Comment by Hohaia Matthews — October 19, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  2. Well that story is so much better than my dot points.


    Comment by steve — October 19, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

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