2017 will undoubtedly see many fresh paradigms and not least with Brexit (UK) and a new President (US). Christian ministry too will see fresh expressions of mission - this new year will be an exciting one.
Here are a few to whet your appetite -
Have you noticed how many suburban churches have changed their names from dreary and drab 'suburb and denominational' to a range of fresh and exciting titles - for which one might have only imagined not that long ago.
There is expansion of Christian media ministry with the establishment of Christian Today New Zealand coming out of Christian Today Australia.
'One Day in Melbourne' in 2016 was a bit of a launch into missions and Christian bloggers providing them the latest in online presentations and such was the response that 2017 One Day in Melbourne (27 May) will see it develop into a key Christian media energy source.
2017 will also see the young writers first 'Regional Australia' annual conference outside the major capital – Melbourne, Sydney and now to the Sunshine Coast on 12 August.
'Eternity' social media took off in a big way last year under the leadership of John Sandeman and social media guru Meagan Russell. But they have only touched the possibilities and 2017 will see a whole new adventure in their social media highlighting YouTube (Bible Society).
Christian media leaders are taking a major step forward with a private luncheon in February to get some traction in these and many other endeavours.
Plus there are literally hundreds of other illustrations of fresh paradigms being established in 2017 – this is the year of Christian adventure.
2017 Tourism Ministry
Tourism Ministry has been alive and well in some pockets for many years such as cruise ship chaplaincies and major hotel ministries.
We were in Hawaii for the Baptist World Congress in 2010 at its famous Waikiki Beach with advertising along the street scape – it was promoting the Sunday services – tourism ministry front an centre. In this genre you might dare call the Beach Mission genre a form of tourism ministry.
Tourism and Fair Trade
Tourism is the world's greatest money spinner. There is an academic aspect to this such as the ethics of tourism and tourism ministry. The fair trade movement is also part of this - when western tourists visit the third world, they should ensure a 'fair pay' payment system.
What of local culture and western tourists. In 2017 there are moves afoot to bring core-solid evangelism ministry into the tourist industry.
My wife Delma and I have gained some experience in Tourism Ministry having run Australia's Bush Orchestra in Moruya on the New South Wales south coast for 10 years (a natural bush under a canopy of birdsong) and have since spoken at seminars and workshops on developing a ministry to tourism.
The charge of the Great Commission is to see people being made into disciples in their respond to Jesus Christ's forgiveness and offer of Salvation – where they are – and where are they some of the time - tourist locations. This is as obvious as the nose on your face (as it were).
2017 is indeed the year of Christian adventure.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html