Missions: Going Glocal

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Ever heard of Glocal missions? Glocal was coined by Dr. David Kim as a fusion of the words “global” and “local”.

Global + Local = Glocal

He bases it on:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8

He highlights the word “and” to mean a simultaneous spread of the gospel. This is in contrast to the common belief that the spread of the gospel is geographically sequential. Therefore, while the church participates in global missions, they should not forget local missions concurrently. It is not an either/or scenario but a both/and. In fact, we can go a step further for glocal missions to become more effective.

Let’s suppose your mission team is visits a Thai orphanage once a year. The impact on participants is minimal. How can we adapt the mission to be glocal and engage your trippers more? We can look at three areas.

1. Pre-Trip

The mission team, in addition to mission planning, can find a local community of Thais in your home country to build relationships with. Participants are to learn the Thai language and culture. What’s more, Thais in your country are likely to speak your native language. If you’re not reaching out to Thais in your own country, would you reach out anywhere else?

You could also use this engagement as a test-bed for your proposed mission trip activities (e.g. singing songs, games). This would allow the team to practice and correct anything that don’t work.

2. On-Trip

So you’ve tested your ideas before you left for the trip. Also, you have already engaged Thais and built confidence in relating to them. Pray hard that God will help you!

3. Post-Trip

After coming back, emotions are high for a while. Often, it wanes away and participants wait for another trip next year. This is where mission leaders must take the lead. Keep on engaging with the Thai community back home. Do what you did on the mission trip to bless them. Being global means you don’t stop missions wherever you are. If a Thai comes to know Christ and goes back to Thailand, it is also a method for spreading the gospel!

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