One of the commitments we made in our Vision document “For God…” published earlier this year, which you can read here, was a commitment to creating space within BMS to hear the voices of the church from the global south. Even yesterday at our Council of Reference in Birmingham we spent time looking at how best this can be achieved. This isn’t a case of starting from scratch because this has been an aspect of our work we have been developing for a while. But we are committed to redoubling our efforts in this regard.
The obvious question is why this is important. Is it just (missiological) political correctness? Absolutely not! The facts is the church of the global south is growing so we must be humble enough to listen and learn.
Also, whilst the west, the old Christendom, is struggling to adjust to new realities, we retain much of the power inherent in mission relationships. Too often the voices that dominate mission practice and theological discourse are those from the West, with our greater access to pounds and dollars, internet and air travel.
Of the many voices from the global south that merits close attention is that of Vinoth Ramachandra, the Sri Lankan theologian, pictured above. In truth Vinoth straddles both south and north, east and west, making his observations all the more pertinent. In his latest blog he addresses the issue of partnership in mission.
You can read his comments here – Vinoth is always worth reading.