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Missions Research Assessment #4

Irvin, Dale T. "The Church, the Urban, and the Global: Mission in an Age
of Global Cities." International Bulletin of Missionary Research 33.4 (2009):
October 29, 2015
In his publishing, The Church, the Urban, and the Global: Mission in an
Age of Global Cities, Dr. Irvin confronts the issues in missions caused by the
rapid globalization of todays cities. As he evaluates the changes in the
cities, he addresses the changes we need to make in our missional strategy
as to overcome the issues that have arisen. His findings will serve as a
source of new ideas and missional strategies for me while in ISM.
The Idea of national and geographical boundaries that gave us here
and there of missionary thinking are now obsolete. The saltwater
definition of missionary work, that is defined by one becoming a missionary
when they cross saltwater, would be even more obsolete now had it been an
accurate definition in 1965 when it was written by Keith Bridston.
Globalization has destroyed all territorial boundaries. In doing so, a new
playing field for urban missions was created.
In a couple of my interviews, similar ideas were addressed in terms of
the changing world and how missional ideas are slowly falling behind. The
church must keep up with the rapidly-changing world on both a global and

communal level. As I have written about in previous assessments, the world

is urbanizing. We must not allow the church to be left in the dust.
Another important thing I learned from this publishing is that we must
also learn to live with a greater sense of religious pluralism if we seek
success in a global world. In the global context of a city, we are constantly
surrounded by people of other cultures and religious beliefs. We are learning
to live in new multi-faith communities and learning quickly will allow for us to
continue our mission sooner.
Personally this new way of multi-faith living has created a challenge.
On my first trip to Los Angeles, we spoke with a homeless man by the name
of James who clearly stated that he was burnt out on religion. We
continued to have a conversation with him about all the religious groups that
approach him and how it is overwhelming for someone to be bombarded by
multiple faiths. The truth that I learned that day from James broke my heart. I
was unable to truly share my message with him because he was
overwhelmed by other faiths that were being shared with him. This is
something that we must learn to deal with because of the globalizing world.
Everything that I learned from this publishing will be stored away when Im
ministering to people so that I may use it when it is called for.