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church doing mission or missional church?

“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21).

Currently there is a lot of talk about ‘mission’ in the Western Church. Of course, as with any widely spoken-of subject, there are positive as well as negative aspects to this somewhat renewed interest in what might be called missiology. Renewed fervour in mission is of course positive, though misplaced or ignorant zeal can be as harmful as apathy or indifference.

One major problem, I think, lies in our tendency to separate mission from the larger story we find ourselves in, positioning it instead solely in our local context. This was one of the major issues inherent in the missionary explosion of the last couple of centuries – Western Christians equated taking the gospel to the ends of the earth with Westernising other ‘pagan’ cultures. Indeed, they viewed the institutional church of Christendom as identical with the objective of mission, and thus mission was not merely about forming the Church of Jesus Christ, but also about forming Christian communities that resembled those of Western culture.

I suspect though that mission is meant to find its anchor point somewhere else. I think we can find the core of missional theology in one simple reality…  Keep Reading…

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