Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Church on Mission: Three Articles - Free eBooks

The dangerous calling of Christian missions

America’s evangelical Christians are facing a critical time of testing in the 21st century. Among the most important of the tests we now face is the future of missions and our faithfulness to the Great Commission. At a time of unprecedented opportunity, will our zeal for world missions slacken?

Just as doors of opportunity are opening around the world, the church seems to be losing its voice. A virtual re-paganization of Western culture is occurring around us at a velocity unprecedented in human history. At the same time, we are also witnessing the rise of militant Islam. One need only consider the rise of extremist groups such as ISIS to see just how dangerous the missionary enterprise has become.

Christians therefore live in the midst of two competing worldviews, both of which are hostile to the claims of Christ. Yet, we also offer the only meaningful alternative to rampant secularism on the one hand and militant Islam on the other. In other words, America’s secular elites do not have a compelling response to the theological claims of Islam. This fact highlights that one of the fundamental problems among Western elites is that they cannot understand a theological worldview — particularly the theological worldview of Islam. Being basically rational and secular in their own worldview, Western elites find it almost impossible to understand the radical actions of Islamic terrorists. Keep reading

8 traits of a missions-centered church

God chose the church to be His messenger and make a powerful impact on the world. It doesn't matter if it has 10,000 or 20 members; a church is called to reach the nations with the Gospel.

The International Mission Board asked pastors, mission and mobilization specialists around the globe to give some insights into what makes missions-centered churches.

They boiled it down to eight traits that indicate this type of congregation.... Keep reading

Are You Planting a Worshipping, Witnessing, Living or Sending Church? Free eBooks

In past years, the church has discovered that to fulfill God’s plan and purpose, we need to grow numerically. Much of that teaching comes from the Book of Acts’s account of the birth and growth of the early church. If we want to learn about planting churches that grow and accomplish Jesus’s mission, we don’t have to look any further than to the examples of the churches in Acts. I have learned (and continue to learn) so much from the early churches about planting churches. In Acts 1 after Christ’s resurrection, Jesus is teaching His disciples about the Kingdom of God and tells them to “wait in Jerusalem.” Then just before He ascends into Heaven, He shares with them Acts 1:8.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).

Notice that the promise of power begins in Jerusalem, then moves to Judea and Samaria, and from there to the ends of the earth.

But I believe that God gives His disciples a strategy, purpose and plan for the church that goes beyond geographical. God gave us this growth plan to show how the church develops from one stage to the next, moving from the first stage to the second, the third, and finally to the fourth stage. Keep reading

Photo credit: Baptist Press

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