Skip to main content

The Future of Missions?

This past week in formation group we had a special guest for 'Global Christian Week.' Tim Taylor, founder and director of Coffee Ambassadors came to present a new model for doing missions that he considers the future of missions, that is business as missions.

What is business as missions? Business as missions is starting for profit businesses that are not first and foremost concerned about making money. They aim to reflect Christ in the way they do business, specifically they do business ethically and with the goal of having a positive impact on the lives of all who they come in contact with and ultimately building relationships through which they can share the gospel. Perhaps it would be easiest to explain through the example of what Tim is doing in Coffee Ambassadors.

Coffee is the number two traded commodity in the world. Typically, coffee is bought from farmers in the developing world for a low price, traded several times along the way, and then purchased by coffee roasters. Each individual along the way takes some profit. What Coffee Ambassadors does is to go in and work directly with the farmers (called 'direct trade' which is different than fair trade, but for the sake of space I won't get into that here) and pays them much higher prices for their coffee. They can do this since the middle man is out of the way. They also work with the farmers on ways to improve their coffee so that they can charge a higher price for it. Through this, they help local farmers by paying them more, which in turn helps local economies. At the same time, they are building relationships with these farmers through which they can share the gospel. As an aside, 73% of unreached people groups reside in areas that grow coffee.

What do you think of this form of missions? I like it because it focuses on the whole picture. It's not just about saving souls, it redeems the entire man. It helps people regain a sense of dignity that is often lost through the unethical way trade is often done, which I believe comes full circle and is a powerful testimony to the work of Christ in our lives. What do you think? What do you see as some of the advantages and drawbacks of this approach?


Popular posts from this blog

Exploring the Christian Way of Life - The Identity of Jesus - Church History (Pre-Reformation) - Aquinas and Conclusion

When we reach Aquinas we come to the pinnacle of orthodoxy when it comes to the Trinity and Christology. Christology was important to Aquinas and he dedicated the first fifty-nine questions of Tertia Pars of his Summa Theologiae[1] to the topic. In many ways it is refreshing because he does not treat solely the more philosophical questions of who Jesus was that preoccupied theologians from the third century on. He also spent extended time on Jesus earthly ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, and glorification which was a major innovation.[2] Of course every possible topic of Trinitarian and ontological speculation is also probed. For the sake of space we will only hit some highlights.

Aquinas is clearly in step with the tradition that can be traced from Nicea, through Augustine and the Lombard, to the heart of the Middle Ages. One thing to briefly note is that even in his densest argumentation, Aquinas was not trying to prove elements of his theology via rational argument as that…

Exploring the Christian Way of Life - The Identity of Jesus - Church History (Pre-Reformation) - Irenaeus

Starting from Irenaeus, Christology, in some respects, moves on. A big part of this would have been due to the “gnostic” controversies. It became increasingly important to clarify the relationship between Father and Son and to minimize their distinctiveness, while still maintaining Jesus’ full humanity. From this point on, clashes over heresy about the nature of Christ and discussions related to Trinitarian theology dominate Christological discussion to the point that the original emphasis on Jesus’ Messianic identity fades to the background.[1] Maintaining the affirmation that Jesus was both human and divine was critical for Irenaeus and those after him because they saw that as the necessary grounds of salvation.[2]

Of particular interest to Irenaeus was the baptism of Jesus. What happened when he received the Spirit?[3] It was not the means by which the Word entered Jesus. He was not merely human before that point.[4] Rather it was a divinization of the human nature of Jesus, a nat…

End of Summer Review/Update

The school year is now upon us and I'll definitely not be posting the next two months. This summer didn't quite go to plan so I didn't get to do the blogging I was hoping to do. Specifically I was planning on blogging through 2 Thessalonians, but that didn't happen. It may happen late in the fall, but we will see. I may instead decide to pick up a different Pauline letter (perhaps 2 Corinthians). This is my last year of school  and by the fall of next year I should be back on a more regular blogging schedule.

A lack of blogging was not from a lack of productivity (although I'm sure my Pokemon Go playing did cut into my reading time a little bit). I've had a interesting summer learning about Medieval Christianity and specifically focusing on Peter Lombard and Thomas Aqunias. They'll both be featured in my next paper in Exploring the Christian Way which I hope to publish here in late January of 2017. 90% of the reading and 80% of the writing is done for that …