Q&A with a Global Leader

God has raised up a host of creative, passionate individuals who are leading the Church in evangelism and missions. Here we invite you to get to know some of them.

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Miriam AdeneyRooted in the Pacific Northwest, for more than three decades Miriam Adeney has provided continuity in Seattle Pacific University's department of Global and Urban Ministry >>. Author of six books and more than 150 articles, she has taught on five continents. On the board of Christianity Today, Miriam also recently completed a term as president of the American Society of Missiology. Recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Christians for Biblical Equality, she also serves as a mission associate of the World Evangelical Alliance >> and on the diaspora task force of the Lausanne Movement >>. Her most recent book, Kingdom without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity, was the featured book-of-the-day at a recent InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Urbana missions convention.  

ABOUT YOU

What is your main focus in ministry and why are you passionate about it? 

I teach Writing for Publication workshops in countries where there are few Christian books. This year, God willing, I'll do that in the Arab world, in Indonesia, and in a persecuted country that I can't mention here. These people all have stories to share, and a hunger to grow. They write in their own languages. The work is excruciatingly difficult. But it is worth it when the books come out, and are used.

What does evangelism mean to you?

Evangelism is witness to God in Jesus. To Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and cosmic rule. God immersed himself in human life radically, even to the point of death. Because human evil earns death, Jesus chose to die in our place to free us from that debt and that power. Evangelism witnesses to the freedom, the new life, that Jesus gives us. 

Tell a story of how you shared your faith in Christ and saw God woo an individual one step closer to himself.

A few years ago in a Southeast Asian Muslim country, I spoke at an evangelistic picnic for women. Sixty women showed up. In the morning, I talked about what women are doing around the world to improve their communities. In the afternoon, I shared how Jesus empowers us to keep on and not burn out. I used an Egyptian woman as a model. Several women joined Bible studies as a result, and recently I learned that several of these have come to faith in Jesus. Read more about this >>

What is your favorite quote/scripture?

Joshua 1:9: “Have not I commanded you? Be strong, and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

ABOUT THE WORLD

What is the biggest issue the Church in your part of the world faces today and why?

"Love the Lord your God with your whole self. And love your neighbor." These are still our biggest challenges. To love actively, not in our own strength, but as channels of God's love. 

The Church needs to care more about needy people than about our technology, weekend fun, or theoretical debates. For instance, we should all be praying continuously for the Syrians.

We also need to learn how to speak graciously about God in Jesus and about Jesus' saving death and resurrection. Compassionate living is not enough. In Seattle, we have many virtuous, kind, humanitarian Buddhists, Muslims, and atheists. Followers of Jesus must learn how to talk about what is distinctive.

What is the biggest issue the Global Church is facing today and why?

The Global Church needs the same things. In some places, current challenges also include persecution, poverty, lack of indigenous theology, or lack of discipleship training.

What is your hope for the Global Church in the next ten years?

That we will mature in our knowledge of God, and specifically of the scriptures, whether written or oral. 

That we will witness graciously to unbelievers about God coming close to us in Jesus. 

That we will love our neighbors intelligently through relief, sustainable development, and systemic advocacy.  

That we will focus more on the King than the kingdom.

 

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