Hints for missionaries to Melanesia

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by Pergamum, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

  2. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    That is an interesting manual. I'm just wondering why he didn't include instructions on how to poll the community to see what type of church they wanted. ;) Ugh and unfortunately my thoughts are shallow right now since I am greatly fatigued, but I'll respond to some of what I read.

    This portion is quite minor, but I wonder about having certain standards, such as for clothing, that can become almost dogmatic in some places. Do the missionaries impose their standard of dress on the natives for chapel? By this standard style of dress, do the natives feel any pressure to dress more like the missionaries in order to dress "Christianly"? What comes to my mind is certain African groups that dress like Western businessmen on Sunday even though it's 100+ degrees and that style of dress is completely foreign to what their culture normally looks like, or at least used to look like. When natives adopt Western standards for everyday life, eventually the extremes may happen, such as conducting Sunday services in nearly the same way as a Western church does, singing Western hymns in English, etc. My current understanding is that sometimes far too much of the West is associated with the Gospel, which manifests itself in missionaries of the C1 variety. I don't think this was an issue for the writer of this manual, but I am just thinking generally. Is my line of thinking off base here, Perg? I can sometimes be too reactionary, and maybe my desire to contextualize is making me recoil too much from dress standards.

    I can't imagine the IMB including this in a missions manual. :D

    Honestly, I'm not sure what was included that would not be included in such a manual today. It seems like much more could be added to each chapter, especially with regard to sanitation and health. Also, the religious background and climate of Melanesia was not discussed, which I imagine would be a major area of consideration nowadays, as well as governmental and cultural movements or lack thereof. I don't recall much in the way of actual ministry instruction either, but apparently the purpose of this manual was about the practical matters of daily life and not the missionary endeavors, such as evangelism, using available literary resources (if any) in the local languages, etc. I'm probably missing a lot, but this is the best I can do at this time of night.

    ---------- Post added at 11:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:01 PM ----------

    I would also be interested to know your thoughts on the questions you asked, Perg.
  3. Bald_Brother

    Bald_Brother Puritan Board Freshman

    I went through the whole thing and I saw absolutely nothing about internet access or the cost of satellite cable! :p

    But seriously, that is pretty interesting. I'm with Andrew on this, overall, good tips. I wouldn't say to take much out, but adding updated travel and medical/hygeine stuff would be advisable. Maybe replacing a few things as modernization has taken place (do kids still earn sixpence caring for horses and is a saddle still necessary?). I wonder, too, whether accidental westernization may be in those tips (like with the clothing) - and it would be advisable to have a section that dealt with cultural and religious awareness and some form of cultural immersion. (?)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    What do you all think of this list of advise for dealing with local native Christians?
  5. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    That's the point I made about nepotism.
  6. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    Not sure I buy that. In elder based societies (like Afghanistan) the locals look down on the outsider if they don't show special deference to the elderly.

    But at the end of the day I thought that a well managed native is a happy native. Isn't that true?
  7. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    It's the same in Melanesia and Africa, Ben. Elders, big men, whatever are treated with deference. But get two powerful men of equal status and give one a trade concession or a Toyota and not the other one and the gun and machetes come out.
  8. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Ben, this is advice for Melanesian-focused missionaries. Melanesians are a unique group.
  9. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    So it's like being in prison...
  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    The pushiest and strongest rise to the top.
  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

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