Book Release: The Practice of Mission in Global Methodism

A timely study of mission in a changing world, addressing migration, neocolonialism, climate change, and many other issues concerning church and society.

The Practice of Mission in Global Methodism: Emerging Trends from Everywhere to Everywhere. Routledge Methodist Studies Series. Co-edited by David W. Scott and Darryl W. Stephens. New York: Routledge, April 2021.

Publication date: April 20, 2021.

This book brings together Methodist scholars and reflective practitioners from around the world to consider how emerging practices of mission and evangelism shape contemporary theologies of mission.

Engaging contemporary issues including migration, nationalism, climate change, postcolonial contexts, and the growth of the Methodist church in the Global South, this book examines multiple forms of mission, including evangelism, education, health, and ministries of compassion. A global group of contributors discusses mission as no longer primarily a Western activity but an enterprise of the entire church throughout the world.

This volume will be of interest to researchers studying missiology, evangelism, global Christianity, and Methodism and to students of Methodism and mission.

Contributors include: Joy Eva Bohol, Jeffrey A. Conklin-Miller, Taylor Walters Denyer, Stephen J. H. Hendricks, Sam Kim, Mande Muyombo, Carmen M. Scheuerman, Sheryl Marks-Williams, Nelson Kalombo Ngoy, Jenny Phillips, Hendrik R. Pieterse, Andrea Reily Rocha Soares, David W. Scott, Elmira Sellu, Stephen Skuce, Darryl W. Stephens, Akanisi Tarabe, Mark R. Teasdale, and K. Kale Yu.

My chapter, “Divergent theologies of mission within United Methodism,” observes three distinct, competing expressions of United Methodist mission in the United States: Ecumenical, Traditionalist, and Golden Rule, corresponding to sociological distinctions identified by Nancy Ammerman. Each of these theologies is centered on a different aspect of God’s grace. Ecumenical Methodism views mission as partnership with others for the purpose of cooperation in what God is already doing, centered on prevenient grace. Traditionalist Methodism views mission as evangelism, emphasizing personal witness and individual salvation through Christ alone, centered on justifying grace. Golden Rule Methodism views mission as service and outreach, with a pragmatic focus on meeting human needs, centered on sanctifying grace. The differences in theology of mission are significant, with particular ramifications for interfaith relations, for example, as well as intradenominational politics. Nevertheless, these expressions of mission are not mutually exclusive, inviting the development of a holistic understanding of mission encompassing all three of these expressions.