EIGHT FUTURE TRENDS IN MISSION



January 4, 2016
By Dr. Scott W. Sunquist
It is not wise for a historian, or any Christian for that matter, to make predictions about the future. Prophecy is a dangerous occupation: false prophets were killed and even true prophets were often persecuted. Recently I have been amazed at what terrible prophets the greatest of Christian leaders were at the beginning of the 20th century. The best and brightest Christian leaders in the early 1900s had no idea of what was happening all around them concerning g … [Read more...]
January 19, 2016
This is the second installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #1: Technology By Dr. Scott W. SunquistThe past two centuries have been dominated by the use of new discoveries and inventions for the sake of mission. The discovery of germs and their relationship to disease in the 1860s increased the value of medical missions. Clinics, nurses training, surgery and vaccination all were added to the “normal” mis … [Read more...]
January 25, 2016
This is the third installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #2: Insider Movements Scott W. SunquistSince the death of Muhammad in 632 Christianity has decreased where Islam has increased. This exchange usually has occurred through the expansion of empires, but also through trade and jihads. Some conversions from Islam to Christianity have occurred, but usually these conversions were also related to … [Read more...]
February 1, 2016
This is the fourth installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #3: Preemptive Peacemakers Scott W. SunquistMany western Christians now ask, “Is there a place for the western Christian missionary anymore? We don’t seem to be wanted or needed.” Affirming that the Great Commission is a call to all Christians to the end of time and to the ends of the earth we must say “Yes, but….” There is a place for the western … [Read more...]
February 9, 2016
This is the fifth installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #4: Scripture Scott W. SunquistOne of the strongest lessons of the past ½ century in mission is that missionaries are part of the larger missio Dei, but God’s mission is carried out in a myriad of ways with or without apostolic figures. One of the ways his Kingdom is spread is simply through the availability of the Bible translated in local lan … [Read more...]
February 15, 2016
This is the fifth installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #5: Migration and Displacement Scott W. SunquistIn recent decades the importance of migration (and diaspora) in mission has been a growing field of scholarship. Migration has always been important in mission (it has been important for all of the history of Christianity and Judaism), but it is just now getting the attention and study it needs.[1] F … [Read more...]
February 25, 2016
This is the seventh installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #6: Holy Spirit Scott W. SunquistIn October of 2015, at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the School of Intercultural Studies, we heard again and again how the work, concept, and reality of the Holy Spirit came up again and again in the first ½ century of this particular school. Some of the innovations or major topics that came out of the “S … [Read more...]
February 29, 2016
This is the eighth installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #7: Poverty and Promise Scott W. SunquistJesus said that it was as hard for a wealthy person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. This is becoming more evident in the 21st century as the Christian movement grows more and more among the displaced and the poor. Christianity has developed most rapidly … [Read more...]
March 7, 2016
This is the ninth installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Trend #8: Mission from the South and the East Scott W. SunquistFinally, it hardly needs to be mentioned that missionary work continues to grow outside of the western world. The missionary movement is growing from Asia (especially from East and Southeast Asia), from Africa and from Latin America. We can expect the number of African churches in Europe and … [Read more...]
March 14, 2016
This is the last installment of a ten part series by Dr. Scott Sunquist on what trends in missiology we can expect in the coming years.Conclusion: Hope and Future Scott W. SunquistWhen we look at these eight trends it is easy to turn melancholy. The ubiquity of technology can be seen as a rising idolatry; in fact, for some it is. As we try to connect with other people “in person,” say talking to a person on the plane or in a bus station, we often find out that they are already connected … [Read more...]


Dr. Scott W. Sunquist is the dean of the School of Intercultural Studies and professor of World Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary.
This blog post was taken from The State of Missiology Today by Charles E. Van Engen. Copyright (c) 2016 by Charles E. Van Engen. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426.www.ivpress.comPre-order the full book here (expected October 2016).
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