Contextualisation or Franchise?

We spent this evening looking at some of the stories in the history of Scripture Union. I have always admired the courage of those who met at Old Jordans in 1960. Their decision was that SU International should be allowed to grow to reflect local and regional context. The SU International model was about taking seriously the principles of SU having the opportunity to be truly contextual.  

But that is easy to say and harder to do. I had a conversation with Roar from SU Denmark about this. It is so much easier to ‘McDonaldise’ the ministry of Scripture Union. It is quick and efficient. But how do we allow local and regional movements to grow in ways that reflect their context. We also need to make sure we don’t lose the two-way learning that needs to take place. It’s not that the older well developed movements have the answers. Rather its that we have to learn together – a mutual experience that realises that the best people to respond to local needs are local people.  

Which brings me back to SU England & Wales! Our recent restructuring offers a new opportunity for us to take the challenge of contextualisation seriously. How will we allow the different local and regional expressions of SU to appropriately contextualise the SU principles in their situation?


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