Innovation in mission

I think that word sparks different feelings among people. For some, innovation is a scary word. It’s equated with uncertainty, risk and change.  Others naturally fit with the word. They equate it with creativity, energy, and newness.

Regardless of how you feel when you read this word, it is critical that we embrace it in today’s mission environment. Last month, I was reading The Mission of God’s People by Chris Wright. He shared that in 1910, approximately 1/3 of the world’s population called themselves Christian.

While the church has grown significantly in that time, so has the world’s population. In 2010, the proportion of the world identifying as Christian has not changed. It is still 1/3. We should rejoice in what God has done since 1910.

The church has grown phenomenally and now exists in countries that didn’t even exist 100 years ago. We witness a vibrant growing church in South America, Africa, and Asia that is reshaping how we practise and understand what it means to be missional. It’s changing our  understanding of what it means to send, to receive, and to participate in God’s mission and we are finding that what has worked in the past may hold us back in the future. Innovation is needed in this new environment if we are still burdened to reach the 2/3 of the world that is unaware of or uninterested in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

SIM people are using innovation in the arts to value local creative expressions of faith and to tell SIM’s stories. We have posted on this website an article about how SIM is embracing innovation by looking to send new teams strategically placed in unreached areas — the  forgotten communities. Our partners are open to unexpected circumstances and innovation needed in the moment to respond to emerging ministry opportunities, when one door closes and another opens.

My prayer is for people to have a perspective of SIM that embraces change as necessary if we want to stay true to our purpose – “Convinced that no one should live and die without hearing the good news, we believe that He has called us to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in communities where He is least known.”

You may even be one of the innovative voices we need!

— Rob Reynolds