Theory and Personal Stuff


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I save this webpage mostly for theoretical topics regarding ministry, missions, and theology. There is a saying that “One cannot philosophize on an empty stomach.” We have been blessed for 11 years of good support so that we could minister and study here in the Philippines. That is a privilege…

…but it can also be a trap. Sometimes, as an introvert, I can get caught up in theory, concepts, models… and not deal with people. My wife, Celia, is a Pastoral Counselor and Clinical Chaplain. Her work with people has helped force me to seek to work more relationally, and less theoretically. That’s good because we will be going through some transitions soon. Our finances are in decline… due to financial problems in the US, as well as some new models of mission work being popularized there and in Europe. While these new models have some fairly clear and obvious problems (or more accurately, limitations)… their popularity will be affecting many missionaries for the next 5 to 10 years, at least.So I may have to find ministry work that can actually support the family soon.

The main point is that theory-driven conversation is cognitive, without being affective… or making it personal— theory-driven conversation is an exercise of individual minds, not the drawing together of various hearts.

Theory, Models, Theology, Concepts are okay… and I believe that is still what I am going to use this particular blogsite for. It is an exercise that helps me learn and clarify. But I have to recognize the inadequacy as well. In line with that you are certainly welcome to look at a couple of other blogsites I do. Both are ministerial… but both are also closer to the heart (even if they still have my low-emotion style of writing). Blessings

Blogsite for BUKAL LIFE CARE

Blogsite for BOB AND CELIA MUNSON AND FAMILY

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One thought on “Theory and Personal Stuff

  1. The decline of missionary support is an unfortunate issue as a result of a variety of influences and emerging trends relating to the way the church in the west now engages with missions. While I agree with you that one factor in the decline of missionary support is the financial crisis that western church has encountered as part of the financial down turn in recent times, but I don’t feel that its the only factor. I believe that there are three other factors that have equally if not had a greater bearing on missionary support dropping in recent times. These two factors are the external cultural influences of materialism, consumerism, and the coorporate mentality that has in recent times become a huge part of western society whereby the western church has equally been effected by.

    Since returning to the UK I have noticed that more and more people are consummed in gaining material weath this has even had an influencing effect on the British church as well. What I am trying to get at is this, the issue is not that there isn’t money in the church? the issue is that its not going to missions, but often times to maintain programmes at home. Also missions for many churches is no longer their focus. I once heard a pastor say, the days of western missionaries is now over, just let the nationals do it. I have a problem with this type of attitude, it might sound relevant and good, but Christ demands the whole church globally to engage and participate in his redemptive mission. Also there appears to be a coorporate mentality within western church circles where church and mission is treated like a business and that if something can be done cheaper resulting in saving money then thats what’s done. So the concepts such as supporting national workers is very attractive as it is cheaper to sustain than supporting western mission personnel. I am not saying I am against initiatives such as supporting national workers, this is a good thing, but my concern is that the church can fall into the trap of not fulfilling its purpose as a sent identity in to a fallen world. The Great Commission is the same go and make disciples of all nations, and until Christ returns this is a task that the church both in the majority world and in the west both need to take equal responsibility for.

    The coorporate mindset seeks to save in order to have more spending money else where…. More money is often spent on church buildings, PA systems, etc…. than on furthrance of the gospel through sending and partnering with missionaries. Often churches are a producted of the culture they are established in. In the west consumerism and materialism plays a huge role in society and hence the church in the west is also influeneced.

    Maybe this difficult situation is an opportunity for missionaries to become bi-vocational and in some countries it would be an advantage, however in countries like the Philippines where job opportunities for expats remain very limited the main ways forward is traditional modes of support or setting up a business, but equally requires a lot of finances to set up in the first place.

    At the end of the day there is no easy answer, but all that we can do is seek God for wisdom and guidance.

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