The Church in Mission (WEA)

Foundations and Global Case Studies
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Description

What does it mean today to be a church totally committed to the gospel and fully engaged in God’s mission? What major religious and sociological trends in our world are affecting the role of the global church and local churches? How must we understand and be prepared to face these trends? How do we define “church” in the twenty-first century, being faithful to the Scriptures and at the same time relevant to a generation that does not believe in the institutional church anymore? What are some good models of missional churches in different regions of the world that will encourage and inspire those who long to see a church making difference in society and in the world?

These are some of the issues that the book you are holding in your hands addresses. There are certainly no final answers and magical forms; rather, we present a broad and deep discussion on how the gospel should be lived out by Jesus’ followers in our time and through our communities. Questions are raised and analyzed both from the perspective of a local church as well as from a global and general understanding of the Christian church. Some of our examples will focus more on local realities, others more on global challenges.

The first part of the book is dedicated to a biblical and theological reflection on gospel, church, and mission. It includes Old and New Testament studies on the theological implications of being church, based on the biblical narrative. The second part deals with a variety of contemporary missiological issues related to the broader theme of church and mission. Different perspectives from current discussions and dialogues around the globe are included, covering both ideological reflections and practical aspects of being a mission-shaped church. The third part presents regional and national case studies that show the enormous creativity in church planting and engagement of local communities in their own societies. Models applied in the secularized Europe are contrasted to ways of functioning as church in fast growing congregations in the global South.

  • ISBN: 9780878080533
  • Pages: 276
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: William Carey Library

Endorsements

This book is a refreshing reminder of God at work in the world today. We are encouraged to reflect and develop a missional understanding of church that appreciates the roles of the church in the global West and global South, recognizing that the Christian church is the most diverse and inclusive community on earth. The contributors challenge us not to think of “church and mission” as if they were two separate aspects of church but rather the “church in Mission.” Its rootedness in Scripture and reflections of “missions praxis” around the world is enriching, and encourages local church leaders to see “mission” as the work and responsibility of each church member wherever they may find themselves.
 

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This book is a feast for anyone who is passionately mission minded. With the biblical and theological foundations for missions by the church, the contemporary missiological issues and the case studies on the church in mission, this book is a delight. It addresses the key themes and issues for a strong reflection on the church and mission. Another thing I like about this book is that it is really global in its scope: geographically-wise, gender-wise and generation-wise. All the contributors are not only great commission global leaders, but also passionate and reflective practitioners. Do you want to deepen your ecclesiological and missiological reflections? This a very good place to be. Any reflective practitioner on mission by the church will like this book. It is a must read for any church and missional leader. I am expecting to see it become a book of reference in the mission world.
 

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It is a joy for me to welcome once again a publication from the WEA Mission Commission. Like previous publications, this is a valuable collection of evangelical reflection on practice. Authors come from a rich variety of situations and in some cases from decades of missionary experience in five continents. They engage in theological dialogue with both classic and contemporary theologians, and they also offer us fresh approaches to the understanding of Scripture with questions forged in missionary practice in places as diverse as Brazil, Singapore, Poland, or the USA. This book is evidence that evangelical missionary commitment continues to be alive around the world, but also that practitioners are engaged in a critical reflection about their practice.
 

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Like the Book of Acts, The Church in Mission: Foundations and Global Case Studies captures and conveys the acts of the Holy Spirit as he leads the global church in carrying out the mission of God at a time when mission has become multifaceted, multidirectional, multilateral and multifarious, involving multiple players from multiple backgrounds with multiple roles. However, unlike the Book of Acts which was authored by one individual, Luke the physician-missionary, the multiple authors of The Church in Mission from multiple missioncontexts and trans-generational scope, make The Church in Mission enlightening and enriching for any serious minded believer who wants to understand and key into the last age of mission. Reading through the pages of the The Church in Mission: Foundations and Global Case Studies has helped me to appreciate the fact that the mission of the church is the same as it has been in the past because it is led and directed by the same Holy Spirit whom the Lord of the Harvest has sent to drive this mission of God throughout the ages. I therefore commend this book to all who are waiting for the return of the King, while we are occupying till he comes back!
 

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The theme “the church in mission” remains one of the most critical subjects for today’s global mission. This book weaves together solid biblical theological reflections, contemporary missiological issues and real-life case studies from scholars and practitioners of different continents on the subject of church in mission. Similar to other books published by WEA, this book once again carries deep level scholarly reflection as well as relevant contemporary applications for anyone committed to global mission. I highly recommend this book to you.
 

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We live in the age where the churches are connected on a global scale. Therefore, this encounter of various understandings of the church and mission across the globe is invaluable and came at a propitious time. This book yields a wonderful insight into global churches’ understanding on the church and its mission based on its comprehensive collection.
 

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This book is indeed a treasure chest, not just for evangelicals, but for all who are eager to bring together church, gospel, and mission. We sorely need the theological and practical dialogue between ecclesiology and missiology lest we end up with a missionless church or a churchless mission. The strength of this volume is that it is scripturally based and includes solid critical analysis. And then, of course, it includes the manifold case studies from all corners of the world. These cases make the book a genuine treasure chest.
 

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The twenty-first century provides the global church with incredible and tremendous opportunity for the advancement of the gospel in human history. The world is indeed flat and human advancement in all respects and divine interventions have created an opportune moment for the church and heightened the hope to finish the awesome task of spreading the good news to the ends of the earth. Every generation is called upon to reflect on its past, reassess its present and reimagine the future as impacted by the church. And then, redesign strategies with the view of realigning them with God’s revealed truth and God’s heart for the nations. This incredible work undertaken by WEA-MC could not have come at the better time! It unequivocally locates the church as God’s missional instrument and a conduit in the fulfillment of one the greatest tasks ever conceived by the Godhead—that of Christ reconciling the alienated world to himself through the power of the Spirit, who convicts humanity of sin, judgement, and convinces them of the better promise of life eternal. It also reaffirms the church as a movement that defies every conceived human barrier seeking to confine, limit, and render it ineffective and irrelevant. Church in Mission does not shy away from the basics, and yet with freshness, it restates the foundational principles and provides practical ways of engaging our culture with the view of transforming our communities. I highly commend this resource with the hope that it will help create a “missional revolution” in our lifetime. 

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This timely book on “The Church in Mission” displays once more the WEA Mission Commission’s commitment to remain biblically based, globally diverse, and creative in producing relevant materials to help the global church measure up to her mission to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ and address new missiological challenges in contemporary religious, sociological, and economic issues in various contexts. Mission practitioners, professors, students, as well as global church leaders will be compelled through the reading and study of this book to remain rooted in the biblical and theological foundations which firmly establish the raison d’être of the church in Mission today and always.
 

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Church in Mission: Foundations and Global Case Studies offers readers an impressive collage of international perspectives on key missiological issues. Essays addressing theological foundations and current issues are complimented by case studies that illustrate how the church lives out its mission in a diversity of settings. Church in Mission makes a welcome contribution to the ongoing global conversation on theology and mission.
 

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The church, the people called out by God and the followers of Jesus Christ, is going through many stages of understanding to make sure that communities of people worship, live godly and missionally-minded as the called-out people of God. To understand this the articles establish the theology of Ecclesia, helping the readers to understand the “church” beyond the denominational, colonial, and regional models. The question of church-based mission or mission-based church has been lurking for the past 2000 years! Once we have solved the complimentary effects of “church and mission organizations,” we then move on to different models of churches which impact different sectors of the world in different societies and show how God works in different ways. May you enjoy reading these articles to strengthen your views of church in mission. I strongly recommend the book.
 

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If historians write about early twenty-first century Christians, what will they say? If our lives (individually and collectively) are, by God’s grace and our hard work, shaped by the thinking of this book, they will describe an authentic, vibrant, relevant, faithful, united, Spirit-filled and mission-shaped church. We’re indebted to the WEA Mission Commission for asking various authors, all “reflective practitioners,” to help us struggle with various biblical tensions, including those between perceived “faithfulness” and “relevance” (the Bible’s own tension, in its own contextualization). Our prayer is that their helpful writings will stimulate the building of healthy missional communities,
at a time of bewilderingly rapid global change—so that His Kingdom might come, His will might be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
 

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This book is an amazing gift to the global body of Christ. It sets in perspective the mission mandate of the church and gives great insights into diverse approaches to bringing the gospel of the Kingdom to hundreds of millions around the world. Every pastor, mission leader and theological student should read this book. We applaud Bertil and his team for doing such a splendid job in producing this most relevant book for our time.
 

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My passion is the church, with a particular focus on the local assembly of believers, in whatever form or context or language or stage of development. I am very grateful to God for this new resource produced by our Mission Commission. It was conceived and birthed with a keen eye on the global church of Jesus Christ in all of its manifestations. It is comprehensive on its biblical and theological reflections, deals with contemporary issues on church and mission, and provides contextual case studies of different expressions of the church. The worldwide church is richer because of this publication.
 

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The Church in Mission: Foundations and Global Case Studies reaches the purpose expressed in its title, which is to be theologically and biblically well-rooted. While the gospel, the church, and mission have the Bible and its conviction as reference, this is taken into consideration in the light and experiences of thirty-one well-experienced writers. Together they relate mission-based convictions to the world around us, which is diverse in culture and language contexts. In other words, what is the gospel, the church, and mission to a world full of real, people? I recommend this book highly.
 

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Don’t just dip into this book. But take my advice and don’t try to read it all the way through from the start. There is a lot of excellent food to digest. Go and whet your appetite with Part Three first. That way you will not only appreciate the rich teaching of what the Bible’s gospel says the church in mission should be about (Part One), nor only wrestle with what some fine missiologists think the church in mission should (or should not) be doing (Part Two), you will already be excited by a fascinating range of individuals and churches and what they actually are doing in mission. Or rather, what God has done and is doing through them, which seems rather more important.
 

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Table of Contents

Foreword
William D. Taylor
Introduction
Bertil Ekström
Part One: Biblical and Theological Foundations: Gospel,
Church, and Mission
Chapter 1: The Good Life? Reflections on the Highest Goals of Human Life
Richard Tiplady
Chapter 2: Why God Is Calling Out a People
Tom Hayes 9
Chapter 3: The Gospel in the Gospels
Andrew B. Spurgeon
Chapter 4: New Testament Metaphors of the Church
Eileen Poh
Chapter 5: The Essence of the Church: The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
in God’s Purposes
Paul Coulter
Chapter 6: The Church as God’s Agent: A Study in Reflecting the Trinity
Peter Rowan
Chapter 7: The Church and Mission in the New Testament
Paul Joshua Bhakiaraj
Chapter 8: The Pilgrim Church
David D. Ruiz M.
Chapter 9: God’s Mission and the Church’s Mission
Hannes Wiher
Chapter 10: Paul’s Ecclesial Missiology
Bertil Ekström
Chapter 11: The Future Shapes the Present: Eschatology as Motivation for Mission
Rose Dowsett
Part Two: Contemporary Missiological Issues
Chapter 12: Mission and Ecclesiology—Why?
Birger Nygaard
Chapter 13: A Truly Missional Church: From Church-Centered Mission to
Kingdom-Centered Mission
Warren Beattie
Chapter 14: The Mission-Shaped Church in Global South Perspective: Trends and
Challenges
Bertil Ekström
The vi Church in Mission
Chapter 15: The Church as a Transforming Community
Richard Tiplady
Chapter 16: The Missional Disciple
David D. Ruiz M. and Rita Rimkiene
Chapter 17: Church and Agency Relationship
Tom Hayes and Decio de Carvalho
Chapter 18: Movements of the Spirit: Church Planting and the Church in Mission
Jim Memory
Chapter 19: Indigenous Churches: Ethnic and Multicultural
Samuel Cueva
Chapter 20: African Monism versus Western Dualism: How the Church
Responds to Local Realities
Moss Ntlha
Chapter 21: Gospel and Church in China
Anonymous
Chapter 22: Effective Partnership: One Successful Venture
Tom Sanchez
Part Three: Church in Mission: Case Studies
Chapter 23: Globalized Christian Youth Movements
Adriaan Adams
Chapter 24: Meeting a Polish Roman Catholic
Rita Rimkiene
Chapter 25: The Dock Church in Belfast
Paul Coulter
Chapter 26: Impacting our World with Hope: New Life Church in Stockholm
John van Dinther
Chapter 27: Ethiopian Diaspora Mission
Wondimu Mathewos Game
Chapter 28: Japanese Churches Respond to the Earthquake and
Tsunami Disaster
Kenichi Shinagawa
Chapter 29: An Urban Church in São Paulo, Brazil
Edeval Campos Jr.
Chapter 30: Remember When
Bruce Huseby
Chapter 31: Three Stories from Southern Africa
Willie Crew and John Scholtz
Chapter 32: Church-Based Training
Paul Ng
Chapter 33: Unreached People Partnership in Central Asia
A Christian Brother
Postscript
Bertil Ekström
Appendix: List of WEA Mission Commission Books
Index
 

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