Understanding Missiology and Innovation

Understanding Missiology and Innovation
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well hello my name is dr. JD Payne I'm an associate professor at Sanford University in Birmingham Alabama in the United States and it's an honor to be able to have this time with you to spend a few moments talking about the topic of missiology and innovation before I do that I just want take a moment just to introduce myself just a little bit just so you can know a little bit about my background I know that in this environment it's it's obviously strange and that I'm speaking to a camera here and having no interaction with you and then at the same time wherever you're located in the world participating in this event you're not able to interact with me and so we've kind of got the the miracle of Technology but at the same time the divorce of relationship and so just to give you a little background on myself I'm married to my wife Sarah we have three children Hannah Rachel and Joel and I have pastored churches in the United States in different locations served nine years with a mission agency I've been teaching for for many years in academic settings ten years I spent as a seminary professor at Southern Seminary in Louisville Kentucky but right now as I mentioned just a moment ago I am a professor at Sanford University where I primarily teach courses in missions and working with undergraduates for for the most part though I do some adjunct teaching and a couple of seminaries Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham Alabama and then also South Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Wake Forest North Carolina but that's just a little bit about me and so I know you're not here to talk or to hear about me so let me just jump into it to our topic and try to try to get started just as quickly as we can so I do excuse me let me do one thing I do want to give you my contact information so in order to try to to move past this this barrier of the technology divide the separates us this is actually my contact information and so there's my email address you can find me on social media my website and so if there's something that you hear me talk about in this session or maybe it's something that you encounter in the the greater event that you're participating in right now that you would like to to follow up and maybe ask some questions by all means I want to encourage you to to reach out to me and send me send me an email emails best but you can connect with me on social media as well but I'm still kind of old-fashioned I use email so never thought I'd say old-fashioned and email in the same sentence but there you have it so let's spend a few moments talking about the issue of understanding Missy ology behind kingdom innovation now when I say Missy ology broadly speaking I'm talking about this notion of the study of missions and so understanding the art and the science of missions if you will and that involves thinking about missions from a biblical and historical perspective a theological perspective thinking about missions from a cultural perspective from a strategic perspective but when I talk about it in relation to innovation I want you to understand kind of where I'm coming from and it is this now what this was on event matters related to the Great Commission mattered to us and so when we begin to think about this topic that this session is dealing with related to innovation I want us to begin thinking about the matter of how does the notion of innovation relate to the advancement of God's kingdom how does it connect with the making of disciples of all nations why is that important why is that critical to to what we're doing when it comes to innovating within our local church context within our mission agency within our nonprofit organization for the greater good of the kingdom why why is it that the issue of missiology should even be a part of the conversation and I would say the reason is that for Kingdom citizens people who are followers of Christ regardless of whatever area of life that we are finding ourselves in the Lord has called us to be to be wise stewards and we'll talk a little bit about them in just a moment but part of that is that we desire to to see God's glory spread among the nations we desire through our work through our vocation through the things our passions our talents our abilities that the Lord has given to us we desire to see the advancement of his glory among the nations and so when we talk about innovation about doing things new about making progress when it comes to things related to the kingdom a great deal of that thought process needs to relate to the advancement of the gospel among the peoples on planet earth it's a part of the the last words that Jesus shared with his disciples before he ascended into heaven so one of the things I want you to think about for a second is just this image of these two silos on on an American farm so these are two grain silos that the opposite ends of these buildings here and and what you see are are these structures that can that hold hold grain now one of the things that I want us to try to avoid doing as we think about this issue of Missy ology and innovation in the next few moments and hopefully in days to come is I want you to try to avoid thinking about this notion of putting innovation in one silo and putting your thoughts about missions in the Great Commission in the other silo as I've just said for the past couple of minutes that those things need to be brought together they need to be Wed together because indeed in in in the heart of God overcoming challenges overcoming barriers to advance the gospel is is where with that understanding of the apostolic test that he's called us to be a part of and so so I don't want you when you think about these two topics I don't want you to see them in two separate categories and two separate silos there's innovation over here in missions or Missy ology over here but I want you think about how they can be be Wed together in your heart and in your mind and then ultimately in in your practice as well so a question to kind of get us started in thinking about this topic is how does the missiology behind innovation help move things forward because when you think about innovation that's what we're thinking about we're talking about progress advancement movement if you will and so so how does the issue of Missy ology that's behind innovation when it comes to the kingdom citizen how does it move things forward and in order to answer that question we have to sort of rewind a little bit we have to go back in history and and and think for a moment about the history of evangelical mission work for example throughout throughout time so this notion of innovation and Missy ology Missy ology driving innovation it's it's not a new topic it's not something that's that's far-fetched even in the in the in the history of Protestant missionary activity there was a time where people would labor for the Advancement of God of the gospel in parts of the world and they began to realize well maybe we need to move from the coastlands around the the borders of this country to actually moving inward and move move to the interior regions of this country and so so what what did we see happen we saw people we saw Kingdom citizens recognizing that there was a need a need to see the gospel proclaimed among lostness and they adjusted their structures their strategy and they moved to the interior regions in fact some of you may have even been a part of or even heard of submission agencies that used to in their history have interior in their titles such as the China Inland Mission Sudan interior you know so that notion of interior came about as a result of an innovation that occurred on the field as the Kingdom was advancing and missiology was a part of driving them the use of technology the use of communications the use of satellite technology in in spreading the gospel those are innovations that have occurred in the history of the church to see the kingdom at vane the issue of medicine the issue of Agriculture science there was a time when those concepts were seen as strange and bizarre to bring to a a mission field if you will and then we began to recognize hey here's a way to overcome some of the challenges here's a way to innovate to do something different for the Advancement of the kingdom and so by the understanding of culture by the understanding of technology or science medicine whatever it may be as those worlds came together as the holy spirit was leading it led to breakthroughs it led to innovation on the field to see the gospel spread farther to see it spread spread faster so when we're thinking about this question how does miss theology behind innovation help move things forward I think that what we need to recognize is that there are several things that it does to move things forward I'm going to give you 11 in just a second so I'm kind of setting you up letting you know where we're going to go so to answer that question I'm gonna share with you 11 things that I think Missy ology does to help move innovation forward but in order for us to get there I want us to allow the the word to lead us in what we're talking about and I want us to think about two particular passages of Scripture that I think are important to this topic of innovation and and mission and the first one is in proverbs chapter 19 verse 2 and the second one is in 1st chronicles chapter 12 verse 32 so let me let me read proverbs 19 verse 2 to you so proverbs 19:2 says desire without knowledge is not good and whoever makes haste with his feet misses the way desire without knowledge is not good and whoever makes haste with his feet misses the way it's the notion of the individual who is a zealous is excited as passionate about something related to God in his kingdom but they don't wed that desire that zeal that passion with knowledge with understanding with proper wisdom they don't bring those two worlds together and because of that jealousness that that passion that desire that drive there's often the likelihood that that individual will miss the way that he or she will will fall off into the ditch on one side of the road or the other and so as Kingdom citizens as stewards of the mysteries of the gospel that God has given to us and this notion of innovation I want us to be passionate about it obviously wants to be passionate about seeing God glorified wherever he places us on planet Earth but at the same time we have got to to marry that zeal that evangelical zeal that we often have with knowledge and bringing those two things together so what does that mean part of it means that we are students of God's Word yes and we're also students of his world as well and we'll talk a little bit more about that as we move along and we talk as we unpack these 11 different characteristics in just a second the second verse of scripture that I want us to think about comes from 1st chronicles chapter 12 and it's found in verse 32 first chronicles chapter 12 verse 32 in this passage of Scripture you have David who is bringing together his different mighty men from the different tribes of Israel and so if you if you're reading through chapter 12 of 1st chronicles what you see is that from these different tribes David is bringing together these strong these powerful these these these these warriors to fight for him to fight for Israel to ultimately fight for for God and His glory but then in verse 32 there is an interesting statement that is made of the tribe of Issachar so when it gets to the tribe of Issachar it says if fisic our men who had understanding of the times to know what israel ought to do 200 chiefs and all their kinsmen under their command so what we see here is that from the tribe of Issachar so you got the tribe of Judah you got the tribe of Zebulun you got the tribe of Dan when he gets to is a car there are 200 men that are selected and the fascinating thing about these 200 individuals they're not referred to as men of notoriety because of their muscle might and because of their their ability to throw a javelin or spear but it says they had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do and so that's what I wants to think about as we continue to move forward and as you be on this video are thinking about the issue of innovation and missions wherever the Lord has you has you plays it is this notion can we as wise Kingdom citizens understand the times understand what is taking place in our context in our cultural environments and in the world in which we live today and can we understand what we need to do as God's people to to see the gospel spread to to minister to the hurting to care for those that are suffering so let's marry these passages together proverbs 19:2 1st chronicles chapter 12 verse 32 let's have desire and zeal married together let's have that married together with the notion of we as the people of God seek to understand the times and know what we should do and when you put all that together you're coming to ask questions about the issue of missiology and innovation and so that brings me to the next thing that I want you to think about and that is what I call the stewardship of innovation because that is what the issue of innovation really is for the kingdom citizen and that is it is a stewardship it is a great trust that we have received in other words we're not in the business of trying to create a better iPhone we're not trying to develop you know uh you know more fantastic cheeseburger than the restaurant down the street but what we're in the business of doing as being faithful as the spirit leads us with the resources the ability that we have in our day and age and our time and that we might know what we ought to do with this zeal and with this this ability in order to see God's glory spread among the nations on planet earth so we're not trying to create something in a research development department and trying to get it to market before the next business down the street we're not trying to get things shipped faster than the person who is on the other side of the country but what we're doing is we're trying to really begin to think about the world in which we live that has all these challenges and has all these pressure points if you will and this great commission that Jesus has given to us and then as we go into this world as the spirit-filled body of Christ we begin to see the spirit lead us in directions whereby kingdom innovation occurs and so you see that throughout the book of Acts you see the gospel breaking through these cultural barriers they are making adjustments they're changing structures organizations the way they thought about different things about different people the way they did ministry in order to see the gospel spread and that's what we're getting at when we're talking about the world in which we live innovation and missiology we're talking about the notion of how do we see kingdom innovation come about in a world that's always changing in a world that's full of all these different cultural dynamics spiritual opposition things of that nature how how do we think about that environment which we find ourselves so that brings us back to the original question that I said there would be at least seven or excuse me eleven waves connected to this question how does the missiology behind innovation help move things forward and I would suggest that there are eleven ways that it helps us to do this the thing that is important for us to keep in mind is that I think oftentimes when we study Missy ology we study missions it enables us to sort of be like the Canaries in the coal mine you know before technology was developed to detect toxic gas within coal mines they would have it they would have a bird in a cage and oftentimes the the birds would pass out before the humans working down in those mines would experience the toxic effects of any gases that would be leaking from within the earth and so so what does that mean it means as we're thinking about missions and studying about the world in which we find ourselves living in the 21st century Missy ology gives us the ability to see and hear and taste and smell things that oftentimes other people around us do not and that's important for end of because it then helps us to begin to think about how we ought to pray how we ought to plan how we ought to adjust because we're sensing some of these things we're seeing some of these things that the Lord is revealing to us I remember being in a session one time hearing a theologian speak about some of the changes that needed to be taking place within his denomination and I looked over at my friend who was a missie ologist sitting next to me and I said you know these issues that he's talking about he's speaking about them as if they're just recent discoveries recent challenges we miss theologists have been talking about these for a decade and the point is not to just to make an arrogant statement but the point is to say that when you study missions it influences the way you think about your organization it influences the way you think you think about your ministry and it helps you think through about things that need to be adjusted oftentimes long before many people are thinking about those very challenges themselves Missy Allah missiology gives us the ability to really see around corners it gives us the ability to to to look in directions that often the crowd is not looking so with that behind us let's talk about the first way that I think Missy ology helps move our innovation forward and that is it provides for us a grounding in the Scriptures biblical Missy ology is is grounded in the Word of God now this is the second session on this particular topic that I'm doing you know I want to encourage you to think about what was what I said in the other session about some of the biblical and Theological issues about what the Bible has to say about about innovation I won't go back and repeat all of those but I will say this we've got to understand that Missy ology if it's biblical missiology it helps us recognize that innovation has to be grounded in the Word of God and so I want to encourage you to think about this innovation pyramid and it looks like this so you've got your foundation being biblical and Theological and then it's out of our understanding of what are the parameters out of which Kingdom citizens should live life and operate and move and have our being it's out of that then we begin to think about missions that we think about the world around us it's out of that we begin to do our cultural research and we think about what is what's this environment like what's my team like how's my organization structure what's our cultural context geographically speaking among the people that we're serving how does all that come together and then from those three different tiers we then get to the understanding of developing an innovation strategy to move us forward we work through these three tiers in order to get to the practical we work through these three tiers in order to to transition the theory to the reality and missiology is a huge part of that it helps us think about the world around us but Missy ology has to be rooted within the biblical foundations and so part of the way in which Missy ology brings us forward leads us forward in innovation is that it grounds us in the scriptures which sets the parameters out of which our innovation is to work because we are not as Kingdom citizens just to do anything that we want to when it comes to God's glory among the nations he has given us boundaries in which we can operate he's sort of if you want to think about it in terms of a river he's allowed us to have this river that we flow through and their banks to this river and so we operate within the parameters that he has established for us and so we're grounded in scriptures second thing that I think is important for us to keep in mind is that missiology helps move us forward because it enables us to become all things without compromise it enables us to become all things without compromise without a grounding in the scriptures in our innovation work whatever ministry were a part of whatever vocation were engaged in if we do not have that grounding in the scriptures for leadership and for those healthy parameters of how we can think about strategy then we could become all things to all people and have great success but sacrifice faithfulness to Christ and we do not want to be like those people that Jesus spoke of in the gospel that came to him and stood before him and said Lord Lord did we not do all these great thing in your name and he said depart from me I never knew you in other words we're not living life to to accomplish a means through in or to accomplish a goal in innovation through any means that that's that's being that's living according to a philosophy of pragmatism that is unhealthy and so we're practical and what we do as Kingdom citizens we want to see results but at the same time we understand that Missy ology helps us become all things without compromise so we want to know what is working we want to know what will shift what will adjust what will allow us to move things forward but at the same time to not compromise the truth of the Scriptures and what we're doing a third thing that's important for us to keep in mind when it comes to Missy ology and the innovation is that if we're thinking about missiology it helps us anticipate change in other words as I talked before in the previous session you know if Jesus is building his church and we are also filled with a dynamic spirit then change is expected change is going to occur I've never seen a construction site that does not have change happening on it if we're filled with the dynamic spirit then Jesus is building his church then there is activity that's taking place if Jesus says I'm building my church like a construction site change is going to happen the Holy Spirit isn't static he's dynamic and so if those things are occurring and we're reminding ourselves of this and we see this as we study the Scriptures and we see these things happening in the world understanding missiology helps us to prepare ourselves in a pair of team prepare a ministry or church or organization that change is to be expected and changes not necessarily a bad thing change can oftentimes be a very good thing but change is a needed thing when it comes to innovation next when you think about missiology Missy ology helps us in innovation when it comes to the development of teams when it comes to the development of teams so when we look throughout the scriptures we see that there are great Kingdom advances that occur but they occur through teamwork Jesus modeled teamwork we see that the reflects a divine team when we when we work with a team and we're engaged in innovation everyone is empowered to innovate everyone is considered a value everyone is expected to contribute and if we recognize that then we understand that when we and all organizations are talking about doing innovation we recognize that it has to be through teams and it has to be through expectations that come with teams that are very healthy and are also very biblical and are also necessary to see the gospel advance there's a reason why the Lord has created this diversity of gifts within his body and he's not made us all the same he's not giving us all the same gifts another thing that's related to the issue of Missy ology and innovation it's important for us to keep in mind is that missiology creates an atmosphere within our ministries within our vocations within what we're doing to encourage the iterative experience so the internal to innovation that that notion of thinking and reflecting and and and trying things and so so I like to talk about it in five in five different components one the iterative process for the kingdom citizen begins with prayer and so we're praying without ceasing we're seeking to not lean on our own understanding too we're reflecting on the work of the Lord Lord what have you been doing and us in our ministry what do you have you been doing in your world again studying the world knowing the world around us number three we're discussing with our team there's that team concept we're discussing with our team what has been taking place what's everyone experiencing number four this process then moves into the direction of trying action steps doing something that is new and then number five we aggressively evaluate the results those components those five aspects of the iterative process for innovation are critical and are necessary to overcome a challenge to move in a different direction to overcoming off opposition to overcome a struggle and Missy ology is a part of that process and create that atmosphere within your ministry for that healthy iterative process another thing that miss theology does when it comes to innovation is that it fosters an environment of grace we know that in order to innovate we have to be willing to make mistakes we also have to be willing to give people to freedom on our team to try and to even make mistakes and so it allows us to create this environment of grace it allows us to create this understanding this atmosphere that we try things and sometimes those things don't work out but nevertheless we have to have an environment of grace that's there if it's not in our ministry if it's not within who we are then people are not going to want to try they're not going to lead you and your team and be a part of your team when it comes to innovation another thing that's important for us to keep in mind is this helped us in learning with humility in other words we know that the word we understand that mission activity teaches us that perfection is never expected that this notion of failing forward you know we talk about falling forward but failing making mistakes and failing forward is expected so we can learn we can grow and can develop in the process of innovation the language of failure is not something that we we embrace and again grace is given to the humble so so we learn with humility we we lead with humility as leaders and that is a part of the process in the innovation work that we're to be a part of another thing that Missy ology contributes to the innovation process is that it helps us to understand cultures it helps us to think beyond ourselves it helps us to step outside of our cultural context if you will our worldview and begin to think about the the different cultures that are maybe represented on our team or represented on the field in which we are serving or within the church within the the organization in which we find ourselves it allows us to begin to understand and think about how do other people think what what are their hurts what are their fears what are their concerns what are the things that that excite them what are the things that connect well with them what what are the things that that that are the challenges that they're facing and so studying missiology related to innovation is required that we study and understand cultures as well and it leads us in that direction in a very natural way and that brings us sort of to the next one and that is it forces us to interact with cultures and that is Missy ology helps your team develop the intercultural knowledge about the world and the ability to think and communicate across cultures which is necessary for innovation in our diverse world we've got to be able to have that ability to to cross those cultural gaps whether it's on our team or whether it's an organization whether it's with those that are outside the kingdom of God in order to effectively innovate and Missy ology is a natural player in that process the next thing I want to think about is that missiology forces us an innovation to embrace the urgent we know as Kingdom citizens the day of the Lord is approaching we understand that Paul desired to see the word spread rapidly and spread with honor according to second Thessalonians chapter 3 verse 1 and we've got to understand that while we're not in that process of trying to get our product to market faster than the other person down the street we're in a different businesses Kingdom citizens we recognize there is an urgency that's there and missiology is part of that process of reminding us that we're a part of this mission of God and what we're doing and that there is an urgency that comes with that and then there's one other thing that I want us to think about before we begin to wrap things up and that is strategizing is required and Missy ology forces us to move in this direction in other words having a clear vision having clear objectives those are those are critical to developing a strategy for action a strategy with action steps are required in other words Missy ology forces you and your team to not remain in theoretical but it forces us to move from the theoretical to the practical it forces us to to move forward and not just stay still so with those things in mind we covered a lot of territory in a very quick period of time I want to also share with you maybe some other resources that may be of benefit to you may be of help to you in the days to come unfortunately there are not a lot of books out there on the topic of innovation and mission in the world today but there are a few that are out there so here is one resource of innovation and mission that Jim reap some and John Hirst co-authored several years ago and I would encourage you to check that out one that's a little bit more recent is the book innovation in world mission and that's by Derek steeps sorry I couldn't see that for a second I'd do it but I didn't want to mispronounce his name another book that may be of benefit to you that's not specifically related to innovation but it's on the process of developing strategy and helping lead your team through developing a strategy which is a part of innovation as we talked about it's a book that I co-authored with Mark Terry called developing a strategy for missions and then if you're looking for work to help you understand maybe some of what are some of the global challenges shaping the face of the church today I would also direct you to my book pressure points looking at some the 12 global issues that are shaping the church and mission today a couple of other web-based resources that may be of help to you I do a podcast called strike the match you can find it on Apple podcasts or on Android just Google strike the match JT pain and it's a podcast related to mission innovation and and Kingdom leadership and then also I want to encourage you to check out maybe this website this resource of generous mind and so if you go to generous mind calm you'll find a wealth of information that's there resources related to the issue of Kingdom innovation hey thanks so much for being a part of this conversation today and you've got my contact information I'd like to hear from you if there's anything I can do for you please let me know Lord bless you in what you do as you seek to advance his kingdom among the nations

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