Hunter Farrell participated in the Bellagio residency program in 2019. During this residency he worked on Freeing Congregational Mission: A Practical Vision for Companionship, Cultural Humility, and Co-Development. He is the director of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s World Mission Initiative and holds a doctoral degree in anthropology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. He has worked for over thirty years as a missionary.
A few words with Hunter
“I had completed the first three chapters when I arrived at Bellagio and completed the fourth and fifth while at the center. Through individual conversations and group presentations, I was able to gauge how the more challenging themes in the book impacted a diverse and critical audience. Their constructive responses gave me courage to develop and present the themes with clarity and power – yet from a position of humility and compassion, rather than judgement.
“As I experimented with different tones in my presentations to Bellagio colleagues, I was able to find the book’s authentic voice, which became one of the most praised elements of the book.”
North American Christian congregations face a deepening mission crisis. The problem, diagnosed by Hunter Farrell and co-author Bala Khyllep, is two-fold: many mission practices are consumer-oriented, setting out to satisfy church members rather than make a lasting difference; and these practices are oftenrooted in colonial-era assumptions about power and race.
Freeing Congregational Mission intends to make churches aware of harmful cultural forces, by inviting leaders to lay the foundation for more faithful and effective missions centered around companionship, cultural humility, and co-development.
Using the latest mission research, examples of innovative congregations, and step-by-step tools for churches to discern and implement sound practices that will work for them, Farrell and Khyllep offer practical resources for every Christian tradition, all centered on Jesus Christ’s model.
To find out more about Hunter’s work, listen to him discuss how churches can partner with communities on an episode from Conversing, a podcast by Fuller Theological Seminary’s President, Mark Labberton.
Or you can simply follow him on Twitter or Instagram.