Title

Re-Thinking ‘Career Missions’ in Light of Paul the ‘Short-Term Missionary

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2008

Abstract

The missiological community is currently divided over the issue of short-term missions. In this essay I would like to deal with this subject from two complementary perspectives. First, I want to examine the missionary ministry of the apostle Paul, mainly as it is recorded in the book of Acts. Since Paul is considered by nearly all to be the quintessential missionary, I am particularly concerned with the length of time he spent in each of the locations where he labored, as well as the total amount of time he devoted to his missions-oriented tasks. Secondly, I would like to re-examine the seminal thinking of Roland Allen, the twentieth century missiologist who ministered with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in North China.

In the words of Lesslie Newbigen, who wrote the Foreword to Eerdmans 1962 edition of Roland Allens Missionary Methods: St. Pauls or Ours?, Allen quietly but insistently ... challenged the accepted assumptions of churches and missions. Since the purpose of this essay is essentially to do the same, I thought that it would be appropriate to enlist Roland Allen as an ally.

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