Mission from the Margins

by Council for World Mission

CWM seeks to propose alternative theologies that is rooted in the communities. It argues that the margins have voices, thus rejects the ethology of the voice of the voiceless. As such ‘Doing mission from the margins’ would aim to radically engage communities within their context as they recover their voices stolen and suppressed by Babylon. Through establishing networks, strengthening capacities and creating alliances of the afflicted, this programmatic area will not only serve to dismantle ‘the mission model bequeathed to the contemporary church’, will work intentionally towards founding ‘alternative communities that bear witness to economic rule, justice-centered value systems, people-inspired political directions, permission-giving ethos for life in communities, and generosity of spirit in relationships’.

Creating life-flourishing societies requires the commitment to denounce all systems and practices that stigmatize, criminalize, exclude, and dehumanize people because of their ethnicity, race, caste, gender, sexual orientation, health, and class.

Life-flourishing Societies

“Breaking out from Babylon” is the public witness of decolonizing our minds, worldviews, and socio-economic-ecological and gender relations. Such a public witness privileges the everyday experiences, knowledges, and liberatory projects of those who experience “the impossibility of life” through systemic sins of accumulation, discrimination, and exclusion. Midwifing life-flourishing societies is, therefore, the mission mandate of the Church. This is a mission that identifies, exposes, contests, and annihilates all manifestations of Babylon in our times by practicing deep solidarity with the life-flourishing movements at the margins.

Creating life-flourishing societies requires the commitment to denounce all systems and practices that stigmatize, criminalize, exclude, and dehumanize people. It also entails the creative endeavours to reimagine alternative societies and communities that celebrate differences and diversities while practicing deep solidarity to save the world from the viruses of supremacy, hegemony, and exclusion.

1. Beyond Mission: Church as Discipleship Community of Public Witness at the Margins

The call to breaking out from Babylon is also a call to breaking out from “mission”—a theological concept and practice with imperial motifs and implications that is detrimental to our vocation to create life-flourishing societies.

2. I Can’t Breathe: Breaking out from White Supremacy and Racism

The Black Lives Matter movement is a theological text that can inform us in creating life-flourishing societies.

3. Creating Life-flourishing Societies for Survivors of Sexual Harm

Sexual abuse and violence is on the rise and our scripture, theology, and church traditions legitimize if not sanction its perpetuation. While we continue to transform our society into a safe sanctuary for all, it is important for us to accompany the survivors of sexual harm.

4. Cast out Caste: Breaking out from Casteism

Casteism is a theologically legitimized hegemonic social system that aggravates the vulnerability of Dalits and obstructs their journey towards the flourishing of life. Annihilation of casteism, therefore, is an essential requirement in creating a life-flourishing society.

5. “Coming Out of Mission”: Reimagining Life-flourishing Societies

There are distinct implications of “breaking out from Babylon” for the queer communities. It requires the courage to queering mission.

6. Decolonizing Mission: Reimagining Life-flourishing Societies with the Indigenous Communities

Mission has played a crucial role in the conquest and colonization of the Indigenous communities and their commons. Stolen native lands and landless Indigenous communities are the legacies of colonialism, settler colonialism, racism, and neo-liberal capitalism. Reimagining life-flourishing societies for the Indigenous communities begins with the decolonizing of mission.

7. Disabling Mission: Reimagining Life-flourishing Societies with the Disabled People

Disabled people have always been the victims of colonial mission paradigms and projects that consider them objects of missional engagement and messianic acts of benevolence.

8. Mission on the Move: Reimagining Life-flourishing Societies with the Migrants and Refugees

Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people are new ethnicities that emerged in the context of climate injustice, religious persecution, violent conflicts over resources and state terrorism. Our vision and projects of life-flourishing communities should learn from the everyday experiences of the migrants and refugees.