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Releasing First-World Wealth for Global Mission: What Levers Can be Pulled Today?

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There has been a lively debate about whether first-world wealth is a benefit or a handicap to worldwide Christian mission. Nonetheless it remains a matter of concern that formidable obstacles stand in the path of a flow of resources from wealthy countries to support missionary work. Church decline in the West, a new parochialism, a consumerist lifestyle, project orientation, soteriological relativism and more sophisticated models of mission are some of the forces which have acted to reduce Western financial support for cross-cultural mission worldwide. Nonetheless there are levers, both old and new, which can be pulled to revive and consolidate such support. The uncancelled mandate of the Great Commission, the cry for justice for the poor, the appeal of catholicity and mutuality and the potential of local initiative and direct involvement of local church members are some of the levers which can propel renewed support for Christian mission worldwide. Many missionary initiatives will stand or fall depending on how effectively these levers can be pulled.


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