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Going Global: A Congregation's Introduction to Mission Beyond Our Borders Paperback – Apr 1 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Pr (April 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827212577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827212572
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #462,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A New Posture for Global Engagement May 7 2012
By Sean A. Benesh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A start, but not far enough Sept. 20 2013
By Jon Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think this book can be a good resource for congregations, although how helpful it is depends on their starting point for understanding mission.

I'll start by mentioning some aspects I think are good. The book does deal with important issues such as the changed (and still changing) context of the world in which mission is done. It speaks about issues of globalization, poverty, power, and neocolonialism. It also address the issue of "agency" and that as folks from North America, we need to focus on mission in ways that strengthen the capacity and agency of those we work with and lesson dependency on outside forces. The book also talks about culture and how culture and power in international relationships are linked. The authors use one of my favorite books, James Scott's "Domination and the Arts of Resistance," to do this which is very helpful. They write about the need for subverting power that dominates and about God's preferential option for the poor. Overall, if a congregation's starting place is a traditional view of what it means to be involved in mission (we are the center and agents of change and we work with passive recipients of our charity) then this book can be very helpful as a starting point to rethink this paradigm. Unfortunately, this seems to still be the starting point for many churches wanting to engage in international mission work.

However, I do have some fundamental problems with the book. First, it is written from a fairly evangelical point of view. The authors are Canadian Baptist and the evangelical bent definitely shows. The main Biblical text used to undergird mission is Matthew 28. In a postcolonial context, there are other passages that could better speak to how we see God's calling (Luke 4: 18-19 for example). Another important issue is that while a few sections speak to connections between our local context and that in which partners live and work, the main thrust is about how "we" work with partners in "their" context. The action takes place "over there" and North American Christians get to join with others in changing the "others" context. The authors do talk about ways to enable "participation" by all involved in mission, but just because someone participates does not mean that the issues of power have been dealt with. One of my favorite quotes comes from a book by Baaz entitled "The Paternalism of Partnership" and she writes that what is seen as partnership by one side can be seen as just another form of oppression by the other. There is another book by Cooke and Korthari entitled "Participation: The New Tyranny" which also addresses issues of changing language and practice in these relationships while not dealing with power disparities. An example of this can be seen in chapter 7 when the authors discuss Participatory Learning and Action as a formula to use when engaging with partners in "developing" areas. One of the first aspects of this engagement has to do with conducting a "needs assessment" and then, later, judging "capacities". While working in South Africa, the partner with which we worked relied on an Asset Based model which first looks at assets and capacities within a community before ever asking questions about deficiencies. When one starts with "needs" it is very difficult to ever get to the capacities of a community because the entire conversation is framed around what a community doesn't have, what it lacks, and not what is already there. In addition, while what is taught in the book is much better than simply practicing charity, it does not go nearly far enough in helping North American Christians look at their own context. Again, all the action happens somewhere else which makes it difficult for North Americans to make connections between poverty and oppression in other places and that which we experience here. Lastly, and connected to the point above, the authors constantly refer to "rich" or "wealthy" North Americans. This essentialism can serve to mask the huge disparities that exist within North America and, again, can keep us from asking hard questions about ourselves.

In sum, I do think that this book can be a starting point for engagement with churches, especially those that are more conservative. However, there would need to be much more following this, both in education and experiences offered, to help them move beyond where this book leads into a much deeper understanding of partnership and mission.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What needs to be said. Jan. 1 2013
By Patrick Hurley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of us tend to get culturally stuck. We try to apply our culture and ideas to others. It really does not work. The missionary work in Africa has produced many very western style churches. Christianity needs to be contextual as well. Western Christianity has things right and wrong at the same time. Other churches will as well. This book addressed our one-sided-ness in approaching missions work. I would have liked to see some more information on specific application, instead of a case study of a situation that did not exist. The case study was still informative and useful. If you are in missions or looking to go into missions I would recommend this book.
Outstanding Dec 15 2012
By Kevin Borger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Going Global is an absolute must for pastors and church leaders who are looking to make a difference around the world.


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