Surprised by a wonderfully eccentric list of Christian creatives and innovators featured in the recent @CTmagazine.
Great to see followers of Christ being creative in all realms of culture!
I’m a sucker for top 20 lists and this one does not disappoint,
excellent reporting per usual by @kateshellnutt.
“Who Gets to Count That Convert?” reveals a historical pattern of distorted motivation and measure of mission agencies’ success. Comity agreements of the early 20th century broke down as diverse organizations moved into areas of responsiveness, seeking to claim a portion of the harvest. Reports of conversions, baptisms, and churches planted were necessary to keep support flowing from churches at home.
This resulted in publicized metrics that were suspect, pride in statistics that exceeded what others were doing, and pressure to maintain a perceived pattern of growth and success. Mission agencies became guilty of what Paul characterized as “measuring themselves by themselves and commending themselves with themselves” (2 Cor. 10:12). Of greater consequence was neglect of the harder, resistant fields of unreached and unevangelized peoples where statistics were not forthcoming.
The “bean-counters” and research agencies were the ones perplexed in trying to sort the overlapping reports when movements emerged beyond the clear delineation of denominational identity. However, two positive developments have brought missions to the new paradigm of counting finally reflected by the IMB and others:
Partnership between evangelical mission agencies grew out of a realization that the potential for fulfilling the Great Commission and engaging ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more