Missional Church in the Biblical Story
Michael Goheen
Vancouver B.C.
Starting with God’s Mission
Long term purpose/intention to
restore creation, all of human life
Told in story of Bible
Thro...
Participation in God’s Mission
‘Fundamentally, our mission (if it is
biblically informed and validated)
means our committe...
“God’s mission involves God’s people living
in God’s way in the sight of the nations.”
- Chris Wright
Mission is not prima...
Two Orientations
Chosen by God
For the sake of the world
God’s Mission and the Church
Locus or place of God’s redemptive
work (foretaste of kingdom)
Instrument or channel of God’s...
Three Directions
Backward to creation: Embody God’s
original intention and creational design
for human life
Forward to con...
Formation of People
Backdrop of creation and sin (Gen. 1-11)
Abrahamic Promise: Blessed to be a
blessing (Gen. 12.2-3)
Bl...
Summary of Israel’s Story on the Land
On the land: On display to the nations (Visibility is
“part of their theological ide...
Prophetic Promise
Gathering of Israel
Restore to missional calling
Renewal of Israel
Pilgrimage of nations
Intertestamenta...
Ministry of Jesus
Announcement of the kingdom
Dynamic power and eschatological salvation
Already-not yet: Delay of end t...
Central Events of Biblical Story: Renewing
a People for their Missional Calling
Crucifixion: Victory of sin and the end
of...
Eschatological People of God
How is the church different?
Experience power of end-time salvation of
kingdom
Time of gather...
A Witnessing Community (Acts 1.6-8)
Obvious question: Now you’re going to
restore the kingdom, right? (1.6)
Threefold answ...
Spirit MessiahSpirit Messiah
Sin
Death
Evil
Satan
Knowledge
of God
Love
Joy
Justice
AGE TO COME
Prophetic ExpectationProph...
Powers of
sin
death
evil
Satan
Power of
Spirit’s
renewing
work
AGE TO COMEOLD AGE
New Testament FulfillmentNew Testament F...
Why the ‘not yet’?
The meaning of this ‘overlap of the ages’ in which
we live, the time between the coming of Christ
and H...
Threefold Witness
Witness in life (being; be the witness)
Witness in deeds (doing; do the
witness)
Witness in words (speak...
Three Marks of Church: Acts 2:42-
47
Devotion to apostles’ teaching,
fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer:
Celebratin...
Church as Missionary Community: Nearby
and Far Away
Pattern in Antioch (Acts 11, 13)
‘Evidence of the grace of God’ (11.23...
Paul’s Pattern
Pioneer church planting (Rom.
15:23)
Three missionary journeys
Build them up for faithful witness
Visits ...
Mode of Witness in Acts
Attractive life of community
Spontaneous evangelism by common
members of church
Planting new churc...
Jerusalem Council
Jewish form of Christianity
New Gentile form emerges in Antioch
Spreads in Paul and Barnabas’ journey
Cr...
Need for Cultural Analysis
Difficulty of situation of living amidst
the nations: Danger of syncretism
All cultures shaped ...
Ending of Acts: 28 and 29?
Why so abrupt? Loose ends?
Story of Acts has not ended
Continues today until Christ returns
. ....
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)
Makin...
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 ...
Nurturing Our New Life in Christ
Preaching
Worship
Sacraments
Fellowship
Prayer
Training parents for their role
Pastoral c...
Preaching
• First, preaching brings us face to face
with Christ as he really is
• Second, preaching Christ invites God’s
p...
Preaching
• Fourth, preaching must make proclaim
the gospel (proclamation) and its
implications (teaching) as power of
God...
Missional Worship
“. . . to reach this growing post-Christendom
society in the West will obviously take more
than what we ...
Two Sides of Worship
Worship that is comprehensible
enough to make sense to nonbelievers
Worship that is thick enough to
c...
Baptism as a commitment to counter-
cultivation
To baptize . . . is in a sense culturally
subversive: it is a commitment t...
Lord’s Supper
Lord’s Supper: Often about benefits for
individual believers rather than
cultivating an alternative communit...
Nurturing Our New Life in Christ
Fellowship: A channel of new life (Acts
2.42)
Building (built up) and organic images
(gro...
Gifts, upbuilding, outward-face
For the sake of this upbuilding God equips the
church with all sorts of gifts and powers t...
Three Images for Prayer
Shovel (John Calvin)
Strategic position (Andrew Murray)
Frontline prayer (C. John Miller)
Training parents
Baptism, covenant, Lord’s Supper
Family worship and prayer
Children and worship
Play, quality time, activ...
Which vision or orientation?
Pastoral care in the grip of introverted
and consumeristic orientation
Church as vendor of r...
Witness of church in the world:
Various themes
Understanding our cultural context
Being a distinctive, countercultural
com...
Living Faithfully in Culture
The problem of leading a Christian life in a non-
Christian society is now very present to us...
Analyzing Our Culture
Current religious beliefs:
postmodernity, economic modernity
and globalization, consumerism
Way reli...
Equipping the congregation
Preaching: Encountering other stories
Teaching sessions and importance of
worldview
Small study...
Training Laity
Laity play a crucial role in the witness of
the church to the public truth of the gospel
Congregations must...
Congregations and cultural callings
A congregation that nourishes new life
in Christ
A congregation that supports folk in
...
Contextual Evangelism
• Evangelism must be contextual—that
is, both relevant and challenging
“. . . there is the obligatio...
Present in the lives of people in
attractive way
• Relational evangelism—time spent with people
• Radical humility, love, ...
Organically connected to life
One of the fundamental laws of all presentation of
the Christian truth everywhere in the wor...
Miller: A roof and a certain Dutch church
• “Opportunity blindness”
• Changing the attitude of the church and
changing the...
Pagans copy gospel of charity
• In one of his letters, [Julian] wrote that the
sole aspect of Christianity which had
impre...
Mission and Missions
• Mission: Total task of the church to
witness to gospel in all of life
• Missions: Establishing a wi...
Disproportionate Allocation
• “The scandal of the disproportionate
allocation of missionary resources”
(Bryant Myer)
• Jus...
Structures and church’s calling
• Structures can either enable or hinder church from being
faithful to calling
• 20th
cent...
Structures and the Church’s calling
• “. . . every discussion of the structures of
the Church presupposes a doctrine of th...
Structures and the Church’s
Calling
• “We are saying that we have recovered a
radically missionary theology of the Church....
Structural Issues for
Consideration
• Small groups
• Missional communities
• Leadership structures and training
• Ecumenic...
Next Baby Steps
• Deepening your missional identity
Missional consciousness
Missionary encounter with culture
Way of li...
A Contrast Community in 21st
Century
North America
Michael Goheen
Vancouver B.C.
‘They would have to sing better songs
for me to learn to have faith in their
Redeemer: and his disciples would
have to loo...
Contrast Community in North
America
A community of self-control and marital fidelity in
world saturated by sex.
A communit...
Contrast Community in North America
A community of self-giving love in a world of selfishness
and self-gratification.
A co...
Contrast Community in North
America
A community of depth in a culture of superficiality.
A community of cheerful seriousne...
Use of List
• Background goals for ministry—this is
what we want to become
• Explicit challenge to congregation
• Especial...
Biblical Missiology in the Local Church
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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

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Biblical Missiology in the Local Church

  1. 1. Missional Church in the Biblical Story Michael Goheen Vancouver B.C.
  2. 2. Starting with God’s 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
  3. 3. Participation in God’s Mission ‘Fundamentally, our mission (if it is biblically informed and validated) means our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission, within the history of God’s world for the redemption of God’s creation.’ (Chris Wright)
  4. 4. “God’s mission involves God’s people living in God’s 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
  5. 5. Two Orientations Chosen by God For the sake of the world
  6. 6. God’s Mission and the Church Locus or place of God’s redemptive work (foretaste of kingdom) Instrument or channel of God’s redemptive work (agent of kingdom)
  7. 7. Three Directions Backward to creation: Embody God’s original intention and creational design for human life Forward to consummation: Picture of end of history—restored humanity Outward to nations: Missionary encounter with idolatry
  8. 8. 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 God’s presence (25-40)
  9. 9. Summary of Israel’s 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 God’s 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
  10. 10. Prophetic Promise Gathering of Israel Restore to missional calling Renewal of Israel Pilgrimage of nations Intertestamental period: Eclipse of missional vision
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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)
  14. 14. A Witnessing Community (Acts 1.6-8) Obvious question: Now you’re 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)
  15. 15. Spirit MessiahSpirit Messiah Sin Death Evil Satan Knowledge of God Love Joy Justice AGE TO COME Prophetic ExpectationProphetic Expectation OLD AGE
  16. 16. Powers of sin death evil Satan Power of Spirit’s renewing work AGE TO COMEOLD AGE New Testament FulfillmentNew Testament Fulfillment Already- Not yet: Time of Witness
  17. 17. 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, is—so to say—held 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)
  18. 18. Threefold Witness Witness in life (being; be the witness) Witness in deeds (doing; do the witness) Witness in words (speaking; say the witness)
  19. 19. 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)
  20. 20. 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)
  21. 21. Paul’s Pattern Pioneer church planting (Rom. 15:23) Three missionary journeys Build them up for faithful witness Visits on journeys Letters
  22. 22. 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)
  23. 23. Jerusalem Council Jewish form of Christianity New Gentile form emerges in Antioch Spreads in Paul and Barnabas’ journey Crisis Torah: God’s 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 God’s elect nation has the right to universalize its particular expression of Christianity.” (Flemming) Missionary encounter with every culture of world
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. 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).
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. Pastoral Ministry in the Missional Church: Nurture, Witness, and Structures Michael Goheen Vancouver B.C.
  28. 28. Three aspects to ministry Nurturing our new life in Christ Embodying our witness in the world Organizing the congregation for nurture and witness
  29. 29. Nurturing Our New Life in Christ Preaching Worship Sacraments Fellowship Prayer Training parents for their role Pastoral care
  30. 30. Preaching • First, preaching brings us face to face with Christ as he really is • Second, preaching Christ invites God’s people into the true story of the world • Third, preaching confronts the other stories and idols shaping God’s people
  31. 31. Preaching • Fourth, preaching must make proclaim the gospel (proclamation) and its implications (teaching) as power of God unto salvation • Fifth, preaching orients God’s people to the world
  32. 32. 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 church’s worship is missional in that it makes sense to nonbelievers in that culture, even while it challenges and shapes Christians with the gospel. . . ” - Tim Keller
  33. 33. Two Sides of Worship Worship that is comprehensible enough to make sense to nonbelievers Worship that is thick enough to challenge and shape the church for mission - Scot Sherman
  34. 34. Baptism as a commitment to counter- cultivation To baptize . . . is in a sense culturally subversive: it is a commitment to cultivate and give a cultic vision . . . which is a radical alternative to the social-economic ‘cultivation system’ that is the Commodity Form. It is also, and more significantly, the incorporation . . . into the very life of a triune, covenantal, personal God.
  35. 35. Lord’s Supper Lord’s Supper: Often about benefits for individual believers rather than cultivating an alternative community nourished with the life of Christ for the sake of the world
  36. 36. Nurturing Our New Life in Christ Fellowship: A channel of new life (Acts 2.42) Building (built up) and organic images (growth) Two foci in New Testament Gifts of the Spirit for the body ‘One anothering’
  37. 37. Gifts, upbuilding, outward-face For the sake of this upbuilding God equips the church with all sorts of gifts and powers that he places at its disposal, as also with various kinds of ministries that must further its upbuilding (Eph. 4:11ff.; 2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10; cf. Rom. 12:3, 6ff.; 1 Cor. 12:4ff., 28ff.). . . . [It is] directed toward the right and corporate manifestation of the church in the world. - Herman Ridderbos
  38. 38. Three Images for Prayer Shovel (John Calvin) Strategic position (Andrew Murray) Frontline prayer (C. John Miller)
  39. 39. Training parents Baptism, covenant, Lord’s Supper Family worship and prayer Children and worship Play, quality time, activities, family traditions, befriending children Discipline, personality differences Instilling compassion, respect Educational options Knowing our culture Technology in the home
  40. 40. Which vision or orientation? Pastoral care in the grip of introverted and consumeristic orientation Church as vendor of religious goods and services serving the customer Pastoral care in the grip of a missional vision Nurture toward health for sake of world
  41. 41. Witness of church in the world: Various themes Understanding our cultural context Being a distinctive, countercultural community Training folk for their callings Evangelism Involvement in neighborhood Missions
  42. 42. Living Faithfully in Culture The problem of leading a Christian life in a non- Christian society is now very present to us. It is not merely the problem of a minority in a society of individuals holding an alien belief. It is the problem constituted by our implication in a network of institutions from which we cannot dissociate ourselves; institutions the operation of which appears no longer neutral, but non- Christian; and as for the Christian who is not conscious of his dilemma—and he is in the majority—he is becoming more and more de- Christianized by all sorts of unconscious pressures; paganism now holding all the most valuable advertising space (T.S. Eliot,1946)
  43. 43. Analyzing Our Culture Current religious beliefs: postmodernity, economic modernity and globalization, consumerism Way religious beliefs shape the institutions, structures, customs, life of culture
  44. 44. Equipping the congregation Preaching: Encountering other stories Teaching sessions and importance of worldview Small study groups Youth ministry
  45. 45. Training Laity Laity play a crucial role in the witness of the church to the public truth of the gospel Congregations must find effective ways to train and equip laity for calling This training and equipping has not really happened Most Christians are godly, well-meaning believers who are shaped by Western story Believers trained for their callings are desperately needed today
  46. 46. Congregations and cultural callings A congregation that nourishes new life in Christ A congregation that supports folk in their callings A congregation that equips folk for their callings
  47. 47. Contextual Evangelism • Evangelism must be contextual—that is, both relevant and challenging “. . . there is the obligation to strive for the presentation of the Christian truth in terms and modes of expression that make its challenge intelligible and related to the peculiar quality of reality in which they live.” (H. Kraemer)
  48. 48. Present in the lives of people in attractive way • Relational evangelism—time spent with people • Radical humility, love, kindness, respect, and gentleness, untiring and genuine interest in people, their needs and dreams, sympathetic listening ear • Dialogical rather than dogmatic approach; Refusing to offer cheap and easy answers to difficult questions; See our dialogue partners as friends and potential strugglers; Respect and compassion; Exchanging stories
  49. 49. Organically connected to life One of the fundamental laws of all presentation of the Christian truth everywhere in the world is that this truth is vitally related to all spheres and problems of life, the most common and trivial as well as the most elevated. . . . The radically religious view of life as embodied in Biblical realism is of the same vital significance to man’s relation to his friend or fellow-villager, or to the way in which he spends his money or works his fields or accepts his material successes or adversities, as to the nurture of his spiritual life or to his religious needs and experiences in the more restricted sense of the word. - Hendrik Kraemer
  50. 50. Miller: A roof and a certain Dutch church • “Opportunity blindness” • Changing the attitude of the church and changing the attitude of the neighborhood • Pacesetting deacons • The power of compassion
  51. 51. Pagans copy gospel of charity • In one of his letters, [Julian] wrote that the sole aspect of Christianity which had impressed him was the Church’s charitable activity. He thus considered it essential for his new pagan religion that, alongside the system of the Church's charity, an equivalent activity of its own be established. According to him, this was the reason for the popularity of the “Galileans”. They needed now to be imitated and outdone. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  52. 52. Mission and Missions • Mission: Total task of the church to witness to gospel in all of life • Missions: Establishing a witness where there is none or where it is weak • Not cross-cultural inter-church aid • Important dimension of whole mission of church • Horizon of church’s mission
  53. 53. Disproportionate Allocation • “The scandal of the disproportionate allocation of missionary resources” (Bryant Myer) • Just over 1% of our financial resources and only about 10% of our personnel resources that are devoted to cross- cultural work actually serve the purpose of establishing a witnessing presence to the gospel in evangelised areas.
  54. 54. Structures and church’s calling • Structures can either enable or hinder church from being faithful to calling • 20th century ecumenical history 1938-1952: Development of missionary understanding of church Recognition that structures hindered the church from becoming full faithful to missional calling Next step: Develop structures to facilitate missional identity Blown off course by secular winds Return to task today sometimes without depth in theology
  55. 55. Structures and the Church’s calling • “. . . every discussion of the structures of the Church presupposes a doctrine of the Church—hidden or acknowledged.” • “. . . the structure of the church is itself an expression of the Gospel”
  56. 56. Structures and the Church’s Calling • “We are saying that we have recovered a radically missionary theology of the Church. But the actual structure of our Churches . . . does not reflect that theology. On the contrary it continues placidly to reflect the static ‘Christendom’ theology of the eighteenth century.” • “. . . highest priority must be given to bringing about those changes in the structure of the Church” (Lesslie Newbigin)
  57. 57. Structural Issues for Consideration • Small groups • Missional communities • Leadership structures and training • Ecumenical structures • Budgetary issues
  58. 58. Next Baby Steps • Deepening your missional identity Missional consciousness Missionary encounter with culture Way of life: Long term process • Prioritizing what you will tackle What are you doing well? What would be difficult, even impossible to implement at this time? Where is there possibility? What is your context?
  59. 59. A Contrast Community in 21st Century North America Michael Goheen Vancouver B.C.
  60. 60. ‘They would have to sing better songs for me to learn to have faith in their Redeemer: and his disciples would have to look more redeemed!’ - Friedrich Nietzsche
  61. 61. Contrast Community in North America A community of self-control and marital fidelity in world saturated by sex. A community of truth (kind humility and gentle boldness) in world of uncertainty and suspicion. A community that knows God’s presence in a secular world. A community of generosity and enough in world of consumption. A community of forgiveness in a world of hatred, competition, violence, grudges, and revenge. A community of praise in a world of narcissism.
  62. 62. Contrast Community in North America A community of self-giving love in a world of selfishness and self-gratification. A community of wisdom in a world of proliferating knowledge and information technology A community of humility in a world of arrogant self- interest. A community of patience in a world of immediate gratification. A community of compassion in a world numbed by overexposure to violence and tragedy. A community that uses language positively in a world of destructive communication..
  63. 63. Contrast Community in North America A community of depth in a culture of superficiality. A community of cheerful seriousness in a culture of triviality. A community committed to the important issues of our globe in a culture of apathy and indifference. A community of self-giving in a culture of self- absorption, narcissism, and entitlement. A community of joyful purpose in a culture ‘amusing ourselves to death.’ A community of joy in a world dominated by a frantic and hedonistic pursuit of pleasure. A community of thankfulness in a world of entitlement.
  64. 64. Use of List • Background goals for ministry—this is what we want to become • Explicit challenge to congregation • Especially can guide preaching and teaching • Shape one’s own life as model—follow me as I follow Christ

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