Gone are the days when missionaries packed up their things, their families and spent a lifetime in another country. Today's missionaries are in constant contact with home, due to technology; they are educated in the spiritual battles in which they may have to engage in other cultures; and most often, they aren't Western. Missions in the 21 century is far different than it was in past centuries. Michael Pocock is co-author of The Changing Face of World Missions and chair and senior professor of world missions and intercultural studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Globalization has significantly changed the way people around the world are doing missions. Not only are Christians in the West sending missionaries out, but they're also receiving them from non-Western countries. Missionaries are going from just about every country to every other country.
That is exactly the way things are happening. There are roughly 97,000 Western missionaries and about 101,000 non-Westerners working cross culturally. So the line between Western and non-Western was crossed a few years ago, probably within the last three or four years.
A lot of two thirds world missionaries are simply moving because of economic conditions or other conditions in their country.
Because many majority world churches don't have the resources of Western churches or of some of the churches in more prosperous Asian nationsnations like Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, places like thatthey have had to think of innovative ways of getting mission work done.
It's not that the churches in these countries are saying, "Okay, how many people have we got that went overseas to get a job someplace? Okay, we'll count them all as missionaries." Because I think that's one of the ...1