Mission Research



OMF Mission Research publishes the Mission Round Table journal, organizes a mission research consultation every three years, interacts with field and sending centers about important missiological issues, networks with worldwide archives.

If you have questions for the Mission Research Department, please submit them using the contact form below.

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The OMF Journal for Reflective Practitioners

OMF Archives_600

Collecting our past today, preserving it for tomorrow


Book reviews and resources for download

Mission Round Table

The OMF journal for Reflective Practitioners

Mission Round Table focuses on contemporary mission in Asia viewed from the perspective of reflective practitioners. Articles are designed to provide biblical, theological, and missiological foundations for thinking about mission and real-life examples that anchor the theory in practice.

Latest Issue

The cover image portraying the death of the Nagasaki martyrs (5 February 1597) is a painting by an unknown Japanese in the late sixteenth or seventeenth century. Jesuit missionaries began a work in Japan in the 1540s that resulted in a church of perhaps 100,000–300,000. By 1614 Christianity was officially banned by the Tokugawa shogunate. From 1597, persecution swept over the church resulting in many deaths and forcing the remaining members to disappear underground. 

Vol. 15 no. 1 (Jan-Apr 2020)

The Bad News about the Good News

The gospel is good news. In fact, it’s great news. It is the wonderful story that tells how the God who created the heavens and the earth intervened so that people who had been separated from him by sin could be restored to a living relationship with God by believing that his Son Jesus Christ died as a sacrifice in their place. But though it is good news, the euangelion has a dark side. There is bad news in the good news.

The difficult side of the gospel was experienced by the Apostle Paul who, in addition to being imprisoned, beaten, whipped, and shipwrecked, set out on journeys resulting “in dangers from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers” along with “the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (2 Cor 11:23–28). Clearly, gospel ministry can be a lot tougher than most of us desire. The Bible and church history let us know that many Christian witnesses were killed for their faith. This “bad side” of the gospel is brought to light in the article on William Fleming—the first CIM martyr.

Not everyone who shares the good news about Jesus faces death, imprisonment, or beatings. Even so, many, as Andy Smith’s research indicates, find sharing the gospel to be a scary experience for any number of reasons. Karl Dahlfred insightfully addresses the sad reality that many animists who say the prayer fall away from the faith. By explaining how and when this tool developed, he shows why it may be best for us to leave it out of our toolbox.

If we work through the issues we face biblically and theologically, the bad news of the good news will not disappear, but it will certainly change form, as it will stem from the very nature of the gospel rather than the actions of those who proclaim it.

Browse Back Issues

MRT 14.3 (Sep-Dec 2019) To the ends of the earth

Sep – Dec 2019

To the Ends of the Earth

MRT 14.2 (May-Aug 2019) Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in all its Fullness

May – Aug 2019

Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in all its fullness


Jan – Apr 2019

« As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. »

MRT 13.3 (Sep-Dec 2018) The Church in Mission and the World

Sep – Dec 2018

The Church in Mission and the World


May – Aug 2018

The Bible in Mission and in the World

MRT 13.1 (Jan-Apr 2018) Thinking Christianly in a Pluralistic world

Jan – Apr 2018

Thinking Christianly in a Pluralistic World

MRT 12.3 (Sep-Dec 2017) Suffering and the Church

Sep – Dec 2017

Take Up Your Cross: Suffering and the Church

MRT 12.2 (May-Aug 2017) Strangers in a strange land

May – Aug 2017

Ministry to Diaspora and Sojourning Peoples


Jan – Apr 2017

Mission Agencies in the 21st Century


Sep – Dec 2016

Mission from the Majority World

MRT v11.2 (May-Aug2016) Journeys with Jesus

May – Aug 2016

Journeys with Jesus

MRT v11.1 (Jan 2016) Tell them the old old story

Jan 2016

Tell them the Old, Old Story

MRT v10.3 (Sept 2015) Christ Meets Culture

September 2015

Christ and Culture

MRT 10.2 Who am I

May 2015

Identity in Christ and in the World

MRT 10.1 Fellowship and Partnership

January 2015

Fellowship & Partnership in Mission & in the Church

MRT 9.2 Discipleship in East Asia

September 2014

Discipleship in East Asia

MRT 9.1 Creation care

May 2014

Missional Creation Care

Browse by Topic

OMF Archives

Collecting our past today and preserving it for tomorrow

The materials preserved give insight into the past and provide historical information relating to the growth of Christ’s church in East Asia.

 The archives hold many stories of what God has done. Telling the story gives God the glory.

CIM-OMF archive materials are held in various OMF centers as well as the institutions listed below.

Researchers who wish to access materials at the OMF International Center Archives can apply to do so by submitting the contact form below.  The form must be received at least one month before a proposed visit.

We welcome donations of materials of historical interest related to CIM/OMF.

If you wish to donate materials, please tell us more about the items by submitting the contact form to our archives.

OMF International Archives, Singapore

The holdings at OMF International Archives include collections of CIM-OMF books, public and internal publications, audio-visual materials produced by CIM-OMF, and microfilm of CIM holdings in the Billy Graham Center. Documents held relate to CIM, most of which are post-1950 relating to the operations of OMF International Headquarters.

OMF UK Archives

The holdings at OMF UK include extensive collections of photos, books, periodicals, prayer letters, maps and other records, some dating from the foundation of CIM, and some relating to mission in China generally, pre-dating CIM. There is also an archive of individual CIM/OMF missionaries’ documents, both paper and electronic. There are also audio-visual materials relating to OMF.

OMF US Archives

The OMF USA archives is composed primarily of books and periodicals relating to the history and work of CIM/OMF in East Asia, as well as information relating to various American missionaries affiliated with the organization; material specific to the US offices (previously located in Pennsylvania); and post-1950s operations and administrative documentation.

Archives of CIM Publications

China Inland Mission published the first edition of its monthly magazine China’s Millions in London in July 1875. Publication of the North American and Australisian editions of China’s Millions began in 1893. Scanned copies of the British and North American editions of China’s Millions (1875-1935) can be downloaded from the Internet Archives and Yale University.

Other CIM publications, including books and reports are also available for download from the Internet Archives.

There are also archive holdings of CIM-OMF materials in:

SOAS Library, Archives & Special Collections, London

Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College, USA

Hong Kong Baptist University Library, Hong Kong

SOAS University of London

The holdings are mainly pre-1950s: CIM-OMF records, including London Council minutes; CIM China Council minutes; James Hudson Taylor papers; personal and private papers of missionaries; records relating to Chefoo Schools; CIM photographs; CIM-OMF publications (directories of missionaries and mission stations, field bulletins, China Millions/East Asia Millions, etc).

Billy Graham Center

The holdings are mainly pre-1950s: correspondence, minutes, directories, newsletters, brochures, photographs, book manuscripts, slides, audio tapes, photo albums, and materials documenting the origins of the CIM North American branch; church planting, evangelistic, medical, educational and literature work in China up to 1951; CIM’s reorganization into OMF.

Hong Kong Baptist University

The holdings are microform materials from SOAS. Its section on Digitization Projects includes a « China Through the Eyes of CIM Missionaries » database that contains 225 lantern slide and glass plate negative images of portraits, landscapes, scenery and architecture in China as well as shots documenting the socio-economic activities of the Chinese from the 1900s to the 1930s.

Books & Resources


Books and Resources for ministry to diaspora


Books, Resources, and links related to missiology and missions

A foot wide on the edge of nowhere

Book review – A Foot Wide on the Edge of Nowhere: Olive and Theo Simpkin—Sharing Good News in China by Majorie Helen Joynt

Book cover - Canoeing the mountains

Book review – Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger

Book cover - Building bridges to oral cultures

Book review – Building Bridges to Oral Cultures: Journeys to the Least-reached by K. Carla Bowman with James Bowman

Seeking A City With Foundations

Book review – Seeking a City with Foundations: Theology for an Urban World by David W. Smith

Insider Jesus

Book review – Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movement by William Dyrness

Book cover - Planting an indigenous church

Book review – Planting an Indigenous Church: The Case of the Borneo Evangelical Mission by Jin Huat Tan


Book review – A Passion for the Impossible: The Continuing Story of the Mission Hudson Taylor Started by Leslie Lyall

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