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Missional Church - Part 1

Understanding what it means to be missional must start first with an understanding of the gospel. Many of us, especially in North America, have always believed that the gospel had more to do with my personal relationship with Jesus, receiving Jesus as Lord, or accepting Christ. But is that the picture the New Testament paints?

In his article, "What is the Gospel? Participation not Consumption" James Brownson writes that this is too narrow, too much of a reduction of the Gospel. Instead of speaking of the Gospel in terms of the impact on my personal life, on the other hand, the Gospel

"...involves the basic change from viewing salvation as something we receive (or, to use the dominant North American metaphor, something we consume), to viewing salvation as something in which we participate. When the Bible speaks about the gospel, it speaks primarily about who God is and what God is doing, because salvation in the full biblical sense means participating in God's saving purpose for the whole world."

He goes on to say that,

"the biblical understanding of salvation is that our lives become swept up into something larger and greater than ourselves, into God's purposes for the world. In other words, the receiving of salvation and the call to mission are not to be conceived sequentially, as if one followed the other (first salvation, then grateful obedience). They are instead to be understood as two sides of the same coin. To receive salvation is to be called into something larger and greater than us, to be invited to participate in God's saving purpose and plan for the world. That is why the gospel, in biblical parlance, is primarily about God, and only secondarily about us." [ Read More ]

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