Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America

Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America

Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America

Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America

Synopsis

What would a theology of the Church look like that took seriously the fact that North America is now itself a mission field? This question lies at the foundation of this volume written by an ecumenical team of six noted missiologists--Lois Barrett, Inagrace T. Dietterich, Darrell L. Guder, George R. Hunsberger, Alan J. Roxburgh, and Craig Van Gelder. The result of a three-year research project undertaken by The Gospel and Our Culture Network, this book issues a firm challenge for the church to recover its missional call right here in North America, while also offering the tools to help it do so. The authors examine North America's secular culture and the church's loss of dominance in today's society. They then present a biblically based theology that takes seriously the church's missional vocation and draw out the consequences of this theology for the structure and institutions of the church. "

Excerpt

As we move toward the end of the century, more and more commentators are proposing their versions of the “great new fact of our time.” Among the many great new facts suggested, Christians in North America would likely point to two. On the one hand, during the twentieth century Christianity has become a truly worldwide movement, with churches established on every continent and among every major cultural group. the great modern missionary movement has been, despite all the controversy and debate, a truly successful enterprise. On the other hand, while modern missions have led to an expansion of world Christianity, Christianity in North America has moved (or been moved) away from its position of dominance as it has experienced the loss not only of numbers but of power and influence within society.

The United States is still, by all accounts, a very religious society. the pollsters affirm that Americans and Canadians believe in God, pray regularly, and consider themselves religious. But they find less and less reason to express their faith by joining a Christian church. North American religiosity is changing profoundly by becoming more pluralistic, more individualistic, and more private. Religion fits into North American secularism in a remarkable synthesis that the student of religious behavior finds fascinating. But for the Christian who takes the gospel of Jesus Christ seriously, this religiosity is a weighty challenge.

It is not the purpose of this book to duplicate the many studies of the changing religiosity of North American society. For our purposes, the result of the process is important. the Christian church finds itself . . .

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