The Orange People Evangelise the Watermelon People

There is a new mission agency on the block and their stuff is excellent!

Although GIA (Global Interaction) sounds like an insurance company they are actually the rebadged and revamped ABMS (Australian Baptist Mission Society). Its not often a rebranding comes off so well, but I have to say I am really impressed with what these guys do.

Their mission statement is ‘to empower communities to develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus.” Its simple but also subversive. Most people don’t quite ‘get’ the implications of such an idea, but they like the sound of it.

These guys do some pretty radical experimental mission and would be right up there as a first pick for an organisation to align with if we ever get the sense of heading overseas.

The clip is from a DVD that arrived the other day. Ben Catford and the crew at Room 3 have done a brilliant job compiling a really insightful, interesting and often very funny collection of clips. This isn’t your old time misho stuff. This is top notch. And the clip captures some of the heart of GIA – don’t get lost in the humour as its actually quite a powerful clip!

4 thoughts on “The Orange People Evangelise the Watermelon People

  1. I’ve had a little bit to do with GIA – i have a friend who has gone off overseas with them. I’ve seen many a DVD and I like the way they go into missional work. (It’s similar to WEC’s long standing policy on missional work, but with a slightly more modern flavour).

    I also must say that their promotional DVDs are of pretty high quality (and comedy value).

  2. …All things to all men that some might be saved…

    …to the oranges I become like an orange…

    …to the anglicans I become like an anglican even though I feel like a watermelon…

    Gav groans deeply and goes to the kitchen to make fruit salad…


  3. Nice video. Could be a useful clip for many a church, even if not very subtle…

    As the son of “old time mishos”, though, can I put a word in for continuity with the past? An urgency to communicate the gospel has led generations of missionaries to strive against their conceptual boundaries. My grandfather wore his hair in a queue in China, but never seems to have had Chinese house guests. Isobel Kuhn writes from a smidgen earlier of building churches like local buildings and struggling to express Christ in the Lisu culture (says my wife – I haven’t read those books). Deano refers to “WEC’s longstanding policy”.

    Changes and new ideas certainly continue (thankfully). I have relatives working in Muslim contexts, which seem to be a locus of innovation at present. Necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps. These relatives may well have learned from the GIA team whose experiences 30 years ago have now reshaped that entire organisation. I know that they struggle over what level of separateness is necessary, what is a worthless impediment, and sometimes what they can agree on as a team.

    I don’t know how much churches ‘back home’ know about the ideas sloshing around among missionaries. Returning towards where I started, the idea of each church’s neighbourhood being a ‘mission field’ has bloomed over the last decade or two but we may not be sharing our ‘missiology’ between contexts very well.

  4. I have been part of the Churches of Christ equivalent to GIA for the past 12 months (Global Mission Partners). I have the whole GIA DVD of many of their clips. I have seen their promo material and their live displays at conferences.

    I have to say that Room3 and GIA have done what I could have only dreamed about GMP doing. They have washed an age old image of an old school mission group to a sweet attractive looking mission agency that people want to know more about and be a part of. I have heard people in our group shoot off a bit about the GIA DVD’s being offensive and their marketing being too ‘glitsy’…maybe these could be the last words of a dying organisation, as GIA heads out into the new missions world out there. I tell you GIA have done it well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *