Over the course of the years following my first visit to Burkina Faso, West Africa, in 2003, I became a relatively frequent visitor. There, I became engaged in passing on my experiences and insights regarding Christian discipleship, to Burkinabé pastoral and missionary workers, trainees, students and other active or aspiring leaders and learners.
As a result of this engagement, since 2008, I have been developing a resource entitled Maize Plant Discipleship, intended to be practical, relevant and accessible for use in African and potentially other related or similar contexts.
In 2009, I took the option to undergird the development of Maize Plant Discipleship with a program of doctoral research, at Fuller School of Intercultural Studies, drawing upon qualitative research into the perspectives, insights, beliefs and concerns of Burkinabé leaders and learners. The resulting research explores significant tensions existing between modern, Western theological education and scripturally-based discipleship praxis, in order to define a set of characteristics appropriate to a resource such as Maize Plant Discipleship.
Although my principal missional focus is presently on developing resources to facilitate self-reproducing patterns of discipleship in African contexts, I am also interested in critically exploring how intercultural missiology can help shape our understanding and analysis of both post-Christendom contexts (“the West”) and post-colonial contexts (Africa, Asia, Latin and South America) and how Christian communities can respond to contextual challenges through authentic, transformative discipleship. Accordingly, the missiological themes that interest me incorporate the following emphases:
- Scripturally-based discipleship
- Contextuality and contextualisation
- Hebraic worldview and culture
- African and Majority World Christianity
- Progressive Pentecostalism
- Post-modernity and globalisation
Being a child of the post-Christendom era influences how I look at the world and understand the Christian story. This is reflected, within my work, for example, through an appreciation for the Hebraic roots of the Messianic faith—in particular, covenant and community. The roots of my faith reside in the Pentecostal Christian tradition — yet I find that I am consciously appreciative of and open to other faith communities and expressions.
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