4G Theory and the Missional Movement

I recently heard a podcast about missions (the traditional meaning, overseas, foreign missions) and the dangers that the new (not all that new?) Missional movement might mean to the understanding of the word Missions. The podcaster was worried that when all of a sudden every act of Christian witness is "mission" attention is drawn away from overseas mission and that missional churches focus on themselves and their immediate surroundings, losing sight of the unreached people groups in parts of the world where there is far less Christian witness. 

I agreed with most everything I was hearing. He's right that traditional missions is losing the attention of the church. But it's also true that we are losing Christians from our home churches faster it seems than we are gaining them overseas so some switch in focus seems justified. 

But, unlike him, I can't express it as "us" and "those missionals". Maybe its a generational thing, I'm probably more a millennial than a gen X er myself. (1979 - isn't that near the cut off?) Anyway, before I get side-tracked... I am "us". I'm have worked in overseas missions (by the old definition) for about 12 years. But I'm also one of "those missionals", he seems a little annoyed at. Honestly, if I hadn't been overseas doing radical things in the religious world view of indigenous Siberians I probably would have been here doing radical things in the religious world view of the established church. 

Where am I going with this? 4G Mission Theory again :) I think 4G Mission Theory fixes this problem too. Yes, missionals have lost sight of overseas missions. But they are doing G1 and G2 probably better than has been done in a long while. So, they need a missions theory that confirms what God has been calling them to. And they need someone to hold up the signposts and call them into G3 and G4 because God wants to use them there too.

And to the established mission community? I think 4G Mission Theory will shake things up there too. We have held onto the word "missions" like we were the only ones doing God's work. We contributed to the false dichotomy of local ministry vs overseas missions, sometimes making pastors feel like their work was less important. 

What 4G Mission Theory can do is bring balance and clarity. We need to be working together, giving all geographies equal attention. We can't fight over the word "Missions". It is all missions, but it's not all right in front of us.