Class ended on a great note. Hearing about Donald McGavern’s emphasis on “people movements” as opposed to the “mission station” approach was helpful in getting a better idea of some of the debate and discussion about missions.  One of the most striking comments that Ryan made was that “those who are doing the missional have had a crisis” in which they came to see that reality of how ineffectual other approaches were in creating effective communities of Christ-followers. I feel that this was true in some of my own experience and resonated with what I have seen and heard from others. In addition, the discussion about the impact of the global information culture on the growing number of practices that connect people throughout the earth in “space” but not in the same “place” was helpful. I often feel resentful and tired of the way technological developments in the past 15 years have made it possible to have access to a much greater degree to information and people around the world, and in turn detracting from the focus on my current physical context and the people in it. The lecture challenged me to see these spheres of life that have developed recently as spaces in which God can act through us and bring about redemption.

Upon reflection of this quarter, I am very thankful for the way I was challenged to think in this class. A number of paradigm shifts occurred in the way I approach social transformation and missions. 

Tuesday Reflection, Week 10

December 2, 2006

The conversation during class about the future scenarios regarding Ritzer’s McDonaldization theory was interesting.  The idea that the modern McDonald’s model will completely disappear seems highly unlikely, unless, as someone suggested in class, the Western world would experience some sort of large-scale catastrophic event. With this in mind, I was encouraged to find ways to work with God in redeeming both our modern and postmodern cultural contexts as it seems likely that their currents will continue to flow together and shape our way of life in the years to come. The lecture encouraged me to think less in black and white terms about modernity and postmodernity.