Biblical Missiology in the Local Church

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On September 17, 2013, Dr. Michael Goheen, top notch scholar and faithful practitioner, delivered three robust talks on these three important topics at the Plantr.org MicroConference. The Missional Church in the Biblical Story Pastoral Ministry in a Missional Church: Nurture, Witness, and Structures A Contrast Community in 21st Century North America

Transcript of Biblical Missiology in the Local Church

  • Missional Church in the Biblical Story Michael Goheen Vancouver B.C.
  • Starting with Gods Mission Long term purpose/intention to restore creation, all of human life Told in story of Bible Through Israel-Jesus-church/Spirit Missional identity comes from role church plays in biblical story
  • Participation in Gods Mission Fundamentally, our mission (if it is biblically informed and validated) means our committed participation as Gods people, at Gods invitation and command, in Gods own mission, within the history of Gods world for the redemption of Gods creation. (Chris Wright)
  • Gods mission involves Gods people living in Gods way in the sight of the nations. - Chris Wright Mission is not primarily about going. Nor is mission primarily about doing anything. Mission is about being. It is about being a distinctive kind of people, a countercultural . . . community among the nations. - Howard Peskett and Vinoth Ramachandra
  • Two Orientations Chosen by God For the sake of the world
  • Gods Mission and the Church Locus or place of Gods redemptive work (foretaste of kingdom) Instrument or channel of Gods redemptive work (agent of kingdom)
  • Three Directions Backward to creation: Embody Gods original intention and creational design for human life Forward to consummation: Picture of end of historyrestored humanity Outward to nations: Missionary encounter with idolatry
  • Formation of People Backdrop of creation and sin (Gen. 1-11) Abrahamic Promise: Blessed to be a blessing (Gen. 12.2-3) Blueprint: 2 part plan Exodus: Formation of a holy people A redeemed people (1-18) A covenant people (19-24) Vocation: Attractive, distinctive life shaped by Torah A people of Gods presence (25-40)
  • Summary of Israels Story on the Land On the land: On display to the nations (Visibility is part of their theological identity) Distinctive way of life shaped by torah vs. idolatry of nations Gods gifts to equip a people Varying contexts Tribal confederation: Holy People in the Centre of the Nations A Priestly Kingdom in the Centre of the Nations Exile: A Holy People Scattered Among the Nations Two dangers Not teaching the next generation Being absorbed into idolatry of nations Failure
  • Prophetic Promise Gathering of Israel Restore to missional calling Renewal of Israel Pilgrimage of nations Intertestamental period: Eclipse of missional vision
  • Ministry of Jesus Announcement of the kingdom Dynamic power and eschatological salvation Already-not yet: Delay of end to gather Gathering and restoring Israel to their missional calling 12: Constitution of end-time Israel Taught a distinctive way of life Participation in Jesus mission of gathering (Israel, then Gentiles) Words, deeds, prayer, suffering
  • Central Events of Biblical Story: Renewing a People for their Missional Calling Crucifixion: Victory of sin and the end of the old age Resurrection: Inauguration of age to come Pentecost: Spirit as gift of end
  • Eschatological People of God How is the church different? Experience power of end-time salvation of kingdom Time of gathering continues Sent among the nations (multiethnic, non- geographical people) More intentional missional activities (missionary dimension, missionary intention)
  • A Witnessing Community (Acts 1.6-8) Obvious question: Now youre going to restore the kingdom, right? (1.6) Threefold answer: Not yet (1.7) Already: The Spirit will give you the life of the kingdom (1.8) Until then you are a community that witnesses to the coming of the kingdom starting here to the ends of the earth (1.8)
  • Spirit MessiahSpirit Messiah Sin Death Evil Satan Knowledge of God Love Joy Justice AGE TO COME Prophetic ExpectationProphetic Expectation OLD AGE
  • Powers of sin death evil Satan Power of Spirits renewing work AGE TO COMEOLD AGE New Testament FulfillmentNew Testament Fulfillment Already- Not yet: Time of Witness
  • Why the not yet? The meaning of this overlap of the ages in which we live, the time between the coming of Christ and His coming again, is that it is the time given for the witness of the apostolic Church to the ends of the earth. The end of all things, which has been revealed in Christ, isso to sayheld back until the witness has been borne to the whole world concerning the judgment and salvation revealed in Christ. The implication of a true eschatological perspective will be missionary obedience, and the eschatology which does not issue in such obedience is a false eschatology. (Newbigin)
  • Threefold Witness Witness in life (being; be the witness) Witness in deeds (doing; do the witness) Witness in words (speaking; say the witness)
  • Three Marks of Church: Acts 2:42- 47 Devotion to apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer: Celebrating and nourishing kingdom life (v. 42) Life of kingdom manifested: Attractive good news people (v. 43- 47) Lord adds to number (v. 47)
  • Church as Missionary Community: Nearby and Far Away Pattern in Antioch (Acts 11, 13) Evidence of the grace of God (11.23) Great number of people were brought to the Lord (11.24) Sent Paul and Barnabas to establish witnessing communities in areas where there was none (13.1-3)
  • Pauls Pattern Pioneer church planting (Rom. 15:23) Three missionary journeys Build them up for faithful witness Visits on journeys Letters
  • Mode of Witness in Acts Attractive life of community Spontaneous evangelism by common members of church Planting new churches -Spontaneous Expansion of the Church (Roland Allen)
  • Jerusalem Council Jewish form of Christianity New Gentile form emerges in Antioch Spreads in Paul and Barnabas journey Crisis Torah: Gods creational design for a particular people at a particular time in a particular cultural context in a particular point in redemptive history Council: . . . not even the original, divinely sanctioned culture of Gods elect nation has the right to universalize its particular expression of Christianity. (Flemming) Missionary encounter with every culture of world
  • Need for Cultural Analysis Difficulty of situation of living amidst the nations: Danger of syncretism All cultures shaped by idolatrous core Need to understand culture Redemptive-tension Contrast community
  • Ending of Acts: 28 and 29? Why so abrupt? Loose ends? Story of Acts has not ended Continues today until Christ returns . . . the ending of Acts is truly an opening to the continuing life of the messianic people, as it continues to preach the kingdom and teach the things concerning Jesus both boldly and without hindrance (Johnson).
  • Mission of the church today Being a light to the nations: Continuing the mission of Israel (Ex 19.3-6 cf. 1 Pet 2.9) Making known the kingdom: Continuing the mission of Jesus (John 20.21) Bearing faithful witness: Continuing the mission of the early church
  • Pastoral Ministry in the Missional Church: Nurture, Witness, and Structures Michael Goheen Vancouver B.C.
  • Three aspects to ministry Nurturing our new life in Christ Embodying our witness in the world Organizing the congregation for nurture and witness
  • Nurturing Our New Life in Christ Preaching Worship Sacraments Fellowship Prayer Training parents for their role Pastoral care
  • Preaching First, preaching brings us face to face with Christ as he really is Second, preaching Christ invites Gods people into the true story of the world Third, preaching confronts the other stories and idols shaping Gods people
  • Preaching Fourth, preaching must make proclaim the gospel (proclamation) and its implications (teaching) as power of God unto salvation Fifth, preaching orients Gods people to the world
  • Missional Worship . . . to reach this growing post-Christendom society in the West will obviously take more than what we ordinarily call an evangelistic church: it will take a missional church. This churchs worship is missional in that it makes sense to nonbelievers in that culture, even while it challenges and shapes Christi