05 July 2011
Mission conference with a difference to be held in the US and Britain next year
In some places around the world, missions are often made up of an unbalanced Western approach.
In order to combat this, the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission (AVM) teaches its missionaries to do their work by not supporting projects with outside funding and to only evangelise in a country's mother tongue.
"This brings a new-found freedom to minister because it means one can truly serve God without westernising," says Dr Jim Harries, chairman of the AVM and a missionary in East Africa.
Unique in its way of working, AVM runs missions using the languages and resources of the people being reached. The programmes also concentrate on encouraging those coming in from the developed world to use their ideas and gifts to instigate, but not to privilege, what they do by using outside funds.
They believe the approach is based on a biblical model and encourages relationships and helps those in mission not cause offence to community leaders they might meet.
A group of experienced missionaries have been trying this way of working since 2007. Some, such as Frank Paul from Germany, have already implemented vulnerable mission in long-term service. Others, such as Rev Dr Steve Skuce is an academic dean for Cliff College in the UK.
Dr Jay Gary, assistant professor at Regent University in the USA, says he supports the work of the AVM because: "It encourages a new generation to engage in God's mission in God's way [and] learns from the way of Jesus in his poverty."
Next year AVM is holding conferences in Texas on 7-10 March at Abilene Christian University and at Cliff College Derbyshire on 21 March.
More information and papers for the conference can be found at www.vulnerablemission.org