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Answering the Challenges of Home Missions

This article is adapted from an address delivered at Classis Michigan’s 2012 Missions Rally. Rev. Boekestein was asked to speak to the challenges the URCNA faces in the area of home missions.

After the United States declared independence they agreed to submit to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to help them in their mission to develop into a strong nation and eventually spread across the continent. The problem was that until the Articles of Confederation were replaced by the Constitution, Congress was paralyzed and every state was doing what it thought best regardless of the common good. There was no mechanism for garnering funding. Congress could do nothing significant without the approval of most or all of the states. Individual states independently laid embargoes, negotiated directly with foreigners, raised armies and made war, all violating the letter and the spirit of the Articles of Confederation. In the words of James Madison: “The radical infirmity of the ‘Articles of Confederation’ was the dependence of Congress on the voluntary and simultaneous compliance with its requisitions by so many independent communities, each consulting more or less its particular interest and convenience and distrusting the compliance of the others.”[i]

Perhaps this scenario sheds some light on some of the challenges we as United Reformed Churches face in fulfilling the Great Commission together.

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