Monthly Archives: May 2008

Missio Dei in the Local Context

My third and final paper for my UDTS online class, Theology of Mission and Evangelism. “Evaluate your own congregation, assessing the historical, cultural, and missiological paradigms that have shaped it. Given this congregation’s context, describe the missiological challenges to becoming a missional church and what you would do to help it to become one.” There were definitely areas in my paper where I discussed how my church could become more connected to the missio Dei. However, I couldn’t write at least a few of those paragraphs without looking at my own practices as well. So, as long as we’re willing to concede that our own status of journeying toward missional faith but not quite there yet as well, we can lovingly point out tough things about our churches. So, here it is:

Theological and academic exploration of the missio Dei is an important undertaking for any seminarian or pastor. However, if missio Dei remains as an airplane in a theological or intellectual holding pattern, whose wheels never touch the ground, the time studying it would have been better spent in prayer or meditation. It does God no justice to speak of his character as a missionary God without actually obeying the marching orders He gives to his people. Where this “rubber meets the road” is where the missional church exists. While the mission efforts of First Presbyterian Church of Durango embody a smattering of the principles of the missional church, this congregation also has ample opportunities to grow into a more robust engagement of the missio Dei. Continue reading