If you care at all about Christian missions around the world then you have Edinburgh 1910 to thank for much of the movement we have seen in the last century. 100 years later people gathered from around the world for Edinburgh 2010 to discuss the state of modern missions, to unify around the mission of the church, and to hopefully mobilize and ally for new works. You read about the conference here on their website and here is more on what they are about.
While not all of us are missionary nerds like me, I do think there are some things here that are worth really paying attention to. First, on a broader level, there is the fact that the church as a whole (including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, others) is willing to gather together to have this conversation is significant and to applauded. I love that the church recognizes the need to gather together for the sake of mission!
Second, there was a desire to incorporate youth in the event. You can see some of this here as “Youth and Mission” is listed as the second of their transveral topics. This is important because one of most important figures from 1910 was John Mott, one of the founders of the Student Volunteer Movement and an important voice out of that 1910 event. Youth matter and can and should have a significant voice here.
Third, there was time devoted to “Mission and Postmodernities“. You can read all the papers on this at the site as well. Clearly there are issues here that are worth addressing. It will be interesting to see what comes of this on the global scale that 2010 event represented.
Finally, there is the comment from one of the delegates to the event that I know that I thought was quite appropriate: “It remains to be seen if this event was the mark of the continuation of the mission movement into a new world… or the marker for the death of the missionary movement as we have known it.”
Interesting times indeed! My hope is that we continue to embrace our missional calling in these days, especially looking towards unification and sharing resources for greater kingdom impact.