We seem to swing from one side to the other...


...Firstly, mission is simply evangelism done in “foreign parts”C. René Padilla. Now it seems as if feeding the poor, fighting for justice and sustaining creation has become what mission is ALL about. Below, we have translated a blog post by C. René Padilla, who coined the term “misión integral” or integral mission.



"The gospel is the most precious thing that we can offer because it’s the best thing that we have.
All the help that we can offer to all the needs is good but it’s not comparable to the possibility of appropriating to ourselves the resources that God wants to give us for a dignified life, full of meaning–Life in abundance.


To evangelize is to announce the good news that Jesus Christ in words and actions, to those who do not know them, with the intention that they, through the work of God are converted to Jesus Christ, and to follow him as disciples, to become part of his church and collaborate with God in the working-out of his purposes to restore relation with Him, with their neighbour and with creation. In this way, conversion is the beginning of a transformation that embraces every aspect of life.

For this reason, evangelization requires the participation of human agents available to collaborate with the Holy Spirit. Bryant Myers calls to our attention a pattern, a model of evangelization in the book of Acts, and demonstrates that the announcement of the gospel is often second act in the story. It is the answer to questions that have been asked because something has happened, e.g. the sermon at Pentecost; the sermon at the beautiful gate in Jerusalem comes after the healing of a crippled man. Stephen’s sermon is a response to the accusation provoked by the miracles. In Myers’ words, “in each case the gospel is proclaimed not because of an intention or a previous plan to evangelise but rather it is a response to a question provoked by the activity of God in the life of the community”. There is an action that requires explanation and the gospel is that explanation.

We’ve got to ask ourselves therefore at what point do our actions provoke questions.

To conclude, the reaction is understandable against what we could call “the zealous Christian”, the wish to convert people, without respecting wishes of the other. We must reaffirm that there is no place for proselytism, or manipulation. However, without evangelization there is no integral mission." 1



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