NJ Presbyterian Churches Call America 'the Hardest Mission Field'
Four Presbyterian churches in New Jersey will be holding a lecture series about how the United States has become the "hardest mission field."
The Delaware Valley Summer Institute will sponsor the four-night event, titled "America After Christendom: The Hardest Mission Field", from August 11-14. Dr. Darrell Guder, professor of missional and ecumenical theology at Princeton Seminary, will lead the events' presentations.
The churches organizing the event are Lambertville Presbyterian, Titusville Presbyterian, Stockton Presbyterian, and Mt. Airy Presbyterian.
Rev. Kenneth Good, pastor at Stockton Presbyterian, told The Christian Post that the event was the fourth time the churches have come together for discussions on various topics.
"It is our fourth event our churches have hosted, and we have focused on Hebrew Scripture, the New Testament and music. Mission seemed to be good theme to explore," said Good.
Regarding this year's topic about America as the hardest mission field, Good told CP that he believed a major factor for this was American materialism. "I think America can be a difficult mission field because of material abundance. We currently have a member doing bomb retrieval work in Laos," said Good. "The people he interacts with have much less than the average citizen here, and yet they have more simplicity and peace. We have so much, and sometimes that stuff (whether possessions or experiences) can get in the way of what is most important."
For the August event, each evening will feature a presentation done by one of the churches on the broad topic of America as the hardest mission field.
For Aug. 11, Lambertville Presbyterian will host "Western Christendom: Fact and Fiction"; Titusville Presbyterian will host "Strangers and Aliens: The Original Strategy of the Christian Movement" on Aug. 12; Stockton Presbyterian will host "How and Why Christendom Is Ending" on Aug. 13; and Mt. Airy Presbyterian will host the final night's presentation, "America, the Hardest Mission Field" on the final day.
When asked about how to best do missions in America, Good said that "it is our job to share Christ's good news with people."
"If every congregation in our country were to do that, we would be doing something good and pleasing to God. I think we should reach our local neighbors, and love them, and then extend to other connections and eventually to global neighbors," said Good.
"I think our most important job is to be faithful and intentional in sharing Christ's life and hope with the people that we have opportunity to share."