Mission from Anywhere to Europe

Americans, Africans, and Australians Coming to Amsterdam

in Mission Studies
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World Christianity entails a multi-centric Christianity, and mission from anywhere to anywhere. Today, any place can be a mission base and a mission field at the same time. According to Andrew Walls this may lead to a new “Ephesian moment” in Christianity. To what extent this is happening can only be found out, however, by doing actual research into local encounters of different Christianities. In this article three post-War missionary movements to Europe are subjected to scrutiny: American evangelicals, who came to Europe after the Second World War; African immigrants, who started to plant churches in the 1980s; and Australian neo-Pentecostals, who have recently extended their missionary efforts to European cities. Especially, attention is paid to their views of Europe and European churches, their methods of mission, and how they are received by Europeans. This analysis forms the basis of several missiological reflections regarding mission in secularized (Western) Europe, with a view to the realization of “Ephesian moments”. It is demonstrated that the late modern missionary movement to Europe is determined to a large extent by globalizing tendencies, which threaten local expressions of Christianity. Also, some stereotypical pictures of Europe, as they are held by missionaries, are challenged. Different approaches are suggested in order to have a genuine encounter between different kinds of Christianity on the European mission field.

Mission from Anywhere to Europe

Americans, Africans, and Australians Coming to Amsterdam

in Mission Studies

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References

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Cf. Coleman 2000:155–156on the “quantified spirituality” of neo-Pentecostalism. See also Maddox 2012:148. She speaks of “growth churches” to denote a worldwide culture of mega-churches which have an “unwaveringly forward-looking growth-oriented vision” as their most important characteristic.

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