Remember Mekdes, who I interviewed about hospitality here? She has a new book!
A Just Mission: Laying Down Power and Embracing Mutuality questions the status quo of American missionary efforts, with the goal of mutuality in missions between Westerners and those from other cultures going forward, accurately representing the God who will one day be glorified by those from all nations, tribes and tongues.
Drawing from her upbringing in Ethiopia and her experiences navigating American culture as an international student and then in leadership positions in evangelical churches in the USA, Mekdes Abebe Haddis is an insightful and incisive voice of reason for American Christians who have a desire to do good in the world but who have always been led to believe—whether consciously or unconsciously—that they were superior to people from other cultures.
Haddis offers a cogent critique of the status quo, arguing that the pause in overseas missions work due to COVID-19 is perhaps an ideal time to reevaluate and reorganize our presuppositions (taking a humble posture of mutuality) and partnership (engaging in our own communities, especially with immigrant churches and learning to be in peer relationships and even under the leadership of immigrant church leaders) when it comes to mission efforts. Approach this book with an open mind to learn from someone with the kind of outsider-insider perspective that is needed to expose the historically and culturally-related blindspots of the American Church. This book has the potential to be used by God to conform American Christians more and more into the image of Christ as they begin to experience the blessing of learning from other Christians who are outside of their cultural background.
While this book’s main aim is to critique American involvement in overseas mission work, it has many applications to ministry done in an American context as well. The biggest emphasis that I believe would be helpful for welcomers is to prioritize and pursue relationships with immigrants in immigrant churches, seeking to partner with them and learn from them in ministry among immigrants. You can buy the book here!