One of the things Arthur and I have listened to on Saturday morning as we’ve rolled our chapatis for the week has been Kang-San Tan‘s talks from CMS SA’s Summer Encounter. They really are outstanding, though you wouldn’t expect anything less from the head of CMS-Asia and former Head of Mission Studies at Redcliffe College in the UK.
Over the three talks, he combines serious biblical reflection with the realities of world mission today. It’s at once encouraging, challenging, humbling and inspiring. His methodology is particularly fascinating. He’s not just teaching what the Bible says about mission but reading the Bible missionally, that is, seeing mission as the fabric of the Bible and the heartbeat of theology. He revolutionised my reading of Mark and gave perhaps the best explanation of the parable of the Good Samaritan I’ve ever heard.
One of the best things about these talks is that he highlights the work that has been done in world mission, often by western missionaries, and what remains to be done. As God progresses his mission through his ‘little ones’ (those who are globally less powerful or wealthy) there remain 3 billion unreached people in the world. Tan discusses the role of western missionaries, Asian and African missionaries, the ‘equippers’ (like us) and the pray-ers in reaching these people.
At the same time, he calls for a radical change in identity and understanding of mission for Australian Christians as well. The stats on the ethnicity of Australian cities are staggering when compared to the largely white population of our churches. The work in mission is both ‘out there’ and ‘at home’. It is when we see ourselves not just as receivers of salvation from Christ, but united with him to partner in his mission as sent ones, that we begin to truly grasp the task of Christian discipleship.
These talks are easy to listen to and stir the mind, the heart and the will. Download them here.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.