Recently I received a copy of Going Global in the mail from Chalice Press as I've been collecting and reading books on the whole global urban conversation. Obviously that is a comprehensive and wide conversation that includes so many facets and features from the topics of globalization, mission, immigration, urban planning, transportation, economics, church planting, gentrification, and so forth. I was not too sure what to expect when I picked the book up a few days ago other than the authors were Canadian which made me look forward to reading the book even more.
The authors do a masterful job of recasting global mission for the North American church. As the world becomes flat and spikey (see Chapter 2) there arises the need for the church to rethink its posture in global engagement. From a position of power to one of humility, learning, and collaboration is needed. With the rise of the church in the Global South the church of the West (Europe and North America) are no longer the epicenter of the global church. It is time to separate ourselves from our current political culture of power in that regards as we move beyond our borders and embody the good news.
There were several chapters for me that jumped out and hit home. First of all, "The World is Flat and Spikey" (Chapter 2) did a thoughtful job of synthesizing Thomas Friedman's flat-world motif (The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century) with Richard Florida's spikey-world (Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life). Indeed the world is both as globalization connects the global village, but does not do so equally. The other chapter that I thoroughly enjoyed was "Letting the Parables Set the Rhythms" (Chapter 5). Revisiting several familiar parables (i.e the sower, the good Samaritan, etc.) the authors shed more light on them in regards to what it means to engage in mission beyond our borders. I found that chapter helpful and insightful.
With not knowing too much about the book before setting off on this journey in many ways made the book more powerful. I didn't approach it with certain expectations so I simply let the authors carry me on a journey. It was a fascinating book that hit home on many fronts and is especially applicable in the urban context I find myself in. I was thoroughly challenged, encouraged, and even convicted which has moved me forward in new ways to connect, love, and serve my neighborhood. These past 48 hours have been a good time of change which has mostly resulted from this book. I highly recommend it.