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RCA Global Mission Principles

The world has changed dramatically since the early days of the modern missionary movement. Today over 70 percent of all Christians live in the southern hemisphere. North America is increasingly a secular society and increasingly a mission field in need of the good news of the gospel. Nonetheless, though our strategies and tools may change, the mission principles that have served the Reformed Church in America's mission program so well over the past 150 years continue to do so today: 

1. Holistic Mission – RCA Global Mission serves Jesus Christ through the Reformed Church in America, an evangelical and ecumenical church committed to sharing and receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ through word and deed. We believe that the gospel must address every facet of life, since Jesus is Lord and Creator of all of life (Matthew 25:31-46). As we share in the biblical vision of God's reign, advocating for peace and justice for God's children (Micah 6:6-8) and for God's creation (Genesis 1:26) are integral to our witness. Learn about holistic mission in Myanmar; at Clancy Street Ministries.

2. Mission Partnerships – Mission is most effective when the various parts of Christ's body recognize their interdependence and work collaboratively, where none is valued more highly than another (I Corinthians 12). RCA Global Mission works together with indigenous and ecumenical partners around the world, including in North America, and recognizes the importance both of sharing the gifts of RCA members, congregations, and agencies through our ministries and of receiving the gifts that global partners have to share. All Christians are called to be the presence of Christ both locally and globally (Acts 1:8). Learn about the importance of partnership in Eastern Europe and Russia; in South Africa.

3. Long-term Commitments – Since all healthy mission is relational and based on an authentic appreciation of respective values and needs, RCA Global Mission commits itself to long-term relationships that enable a substantive understanding of different cultures, languages, customs, and history. Making and becoming disciples and nurturing transforming relationships takes time (Matthew 28:10-20). Learn about the importance of long-term relationships in Chiapas; in Sudan.

4. Mutual Mission – Mission is the one task of the whole church to the whole world. The church in every place is called to cross cultures and barriers to share and receive the good news of the gospel. In an increasingly polycentric, multicultural world, all Christians and Christian institutions must recognize the importance of both giving and receiving, teaching and learning, sharing and listening. Because our goal is to promote the health of the whole body of Christ and to fully develop the gifts of all believers, RCA Global Mission avoids mission placements to roles that can more effectively or efficiently be carried out by the local partner. Learn how mutual mission plays an important role in our mission relationships in Israel/Palestine; in our volunteer program.

5. Respectful Witness – Because Scripture teaches that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, as well as the fullest manifestation of God's revelation, and because we know that God also reveals truth through nature (Romans 1) and other religions (Hebrews 1:1, 2)*, we engage all individuals in substantive conversation with respect and humility, trusting God's Spirit to bring a bountiful harvest. Learn how respectful witness shapes our work at Al Amana Centre.

*For theological reflection on this principle, see The Crucified One is Lord: Confessing the Uniqueness of Christ in a Pluralistic Society.

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