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Milestone Reached by GMI Partner AVM GMI Connection - Issue 5 : Article 4

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nl5-4.jpgMilestone Reached by GMI Partner AVM

GMI's ongoing involvement with the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission (AVM) recently included a milestone conference for the fledgling organization, with its trademark emphasis on mission strategies that rely on local languages and local resources.


The event was hosted at Abilene Christian University(ACU) on March 8-9 by the Halbert Institute for Mission, and co-sponsored by the AVM and TWR (formerly Trans World Radio). Dr. Chris Flanders of ACU is a member of the executive board of AVM, along with GMI's staff missiologist, Stan Nussbaum, and the AVM founder, British missionary Dr. Jim Harries.


The conference sessions were broadcast live on the Internet, and registered participants were able to type questions and comments to the presenters throughout the time. One presentation was made entirely via the Internet by an American in Costa Rica.


Nussbaum's presentation, "Vulnerable Mission vis-à-vis Mainstream Mission and Missiology," argued that "vulnerable mission" is not a niche issue but rather an issue integrally connected to three mega-issues of missiology in our generation—contextualization, sustainability, and partnership. He also proposed that the AVM should add dependence on "local thinking style" (often oral rather than analytical) as a third core principle of vulnerable mission. (Pre-publication copy available on request from stan(at)


The papers came at the subject of vulnerability in mission from a variety of complementary angles—theological (YonggapJeong), missiological (Nussbaum, Harries, Johnson), historical (Reese), biblical (Smith), experiential (Shantz, Runyon). Some explored the relationship between vulnerable mission and partnership (Lederleitner, Walton). Several of the papers will be made available on-line through the journal Missio Dei.


If you are interested in learning more about the subject of vulnerable mission, we recommend three recent works by Harries. The first one listed is the newest and the best brief introduction to the subject. The second is a collection of essays. The third is the fruit of vulnerable mission, gaining some insider perspective on one's mission context.

  • Theory to Practice in Vulnerable Mission (Wipf and Stock, 2012). 120p.
  • Three Days in the Life of an African Christian Villager (Lancaster, PA: World Mission Book Service, 2011). 42p. 
  • Vulnerable Mission: Insights into Christian Mission to Africa from a Position of Vulnerability (Wm. Carey Library, 2011), 258p + index.

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