Missions Terminology

  • 10/40 Window

    A term coined by Christian missionary strategist Luis Bush in 1990 to refer to those regions of the eastern hemisphere, plus the European and African part of the western hemisphere, located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, a general area that in 1990 was purported to have the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources on the planet.

  • Animism

    The attribution of soul to inanimate objects and natural phenomena. Animism accepts the reality of spiritual forces and beings.

  • Beliefs

    What is considered to be true within a culture. A distinction should be drawn between (a) operating beliefs – beliefs that affect values and behavior; and (b) theoretical beliefs – beliefs that have little actual impact on values and behavior.

  • Bicultural Bridge

    The relationship between missionaries and their national counterparts.

  • Biculturalism

    An ability to move between two cultures (home and adopted) and to live in either without experiencing culture shock.

  • Church Planting Movements

    Church planting in a rapid growth rate can be considered a movement. In a CPM, indigenous churches plant more churches within a people group or geographic area. A church will sponsor formation of multiple spinoff churches that will them-selves reproduce new churches very quickly, generally with common teachings and doctrine. It is different from traditional missions in that the new churches are generally started by a lay leader from the sponsoring church and not an outside missionary. A key characteristic of an authentic church planting movement is the rapidity with which a new congregation itself starts another similar church.

  • Closed Country

    A country that does not allow missionaries to enter. These are sometimes referred to as Creative Access Countries. The people who serve as International Workers have a vocation or business or some legitimate means of being there.

  • Closure

    A commitment to setting defined goals and developing specific means to accomplish the task of the Great Commission within a specified time. “Closure strategy says it is not enough for us today to go across the world and do a good job. We must work towards finishing the task.”

  • Colonialism

    Colonialism has a long history where one territory has been subjugated and exploited by another.

  • Contextualization

    The process of taking the Gospel which has been received in one’s own culture to a different culture and effectively communicating its unchangeable message in a form that is culturally understandable and acceptable to the receiving culture. The Gospel is not changed, but only presented in a manner that is not culturally offensive.

  • Cross-Cultural

    Moving from one culture to another. In regards to the Great Commission we cross cultures in order to bring the Gospel.

  • Cultural Christianity

    A Christian message that is distorted by the materialistic, consumer culture of the West.

  • Culture

    An integrated system of beliefs, values, customs, and the institutions which express all of these, binding a society together as it gives the people a sense of identity, dignity, security and continuity.

  • Culture Shock

    The sense of confusion and disorientation we face and feel experience any different way of life from our own culture due to crossing cultures by moving into another culture, this can lead to disillusionment and depression.

  • Discipleship

    The process by which the character of Christ is formed in a new believer by the mentoring and encouragement of a more mature believer.

  • Ecclesiocentrism

    Ecclesiastical ethnocentrism. The view that the way we do things in our church or denomination is the only right way. All other churches are wrong in their ritual and beliefs where they differ from us.

  • Ethnocentrism

    Cultural narrow mindedness. The view that the way we do things in our culture is the only right way of doing things. All other ways are wrong. The tendency to “judge the behavior of a people in other cultures by the values and assumptions of our own.”

  • Evangelism

    The preaching of the Gospel or the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to other with the goal of making converts.

  • Great Commission

    The mandate to the church from Christ to go and make disciples in every nation.

  • Indigenous

    Originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country; native.

  • Missio Dei

    A Latin Christian theological term that can be translated as the “mission of God,” or the “sending of God.”

  • Missiology

    The study of missions.

  • Mission

    The desire of God to redeem all mankind back to himself. The Mission of God and of each of His followers should be the Great Commission.

  • Mission Agency

    An organization that assist missionaries in the needed areas to assure success on the mission field.

  • Missionary

    One who is called cross-culturally to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Missions

    All the things that the church and Christians do to complete the mission of God – the Great Commission.

  • MPO

    Missionary Preparation and Orientation that Go To Nations conducts at their World Headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida twice a year for all missionary candidates.

  • Orality

    Teaching the Gospel through oral transfer only.

  • Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

    The Perspectives course helps believers from all walks of life see how they can get threaded into God’s story of redeeming people from every tribe, tongue, and nation to Himself.

    From Genesis to the prophets, Jesus Christ to the early church, and Constantine to today, you will see how God has been moving, how the global Church has responded, and what the greatest needs in world evangelization are today. It is not a class about missions, but a course on how every believer can be intimately woven into the story of God using His people to be a blessing to all the people groups of the earth.