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Missions 101

Sanctify Them in the Truth

Feb. 21, 2013By: Kristie Burns

Dr. Art Azurdia, Professor of Pastoral Theology at Western Serminary in Portland, in his book Connected Christianity: Engaging Culture Without Compromise, offers this helpful explanation of being missional:

You may be aware of a new and popular word in our contemporary evangelical subculture. It is the term "missional." "We need to become missional," many exhort, often using this term as though they have invented an altogether novel concept. While it is most certainly true that our churches need to be missional--and that we, as individual Christians, must always seek to be missional--the fact is, one cannot be effectively missional without first being intentionally theological: "Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth," the Lord prays. It assures us that gospel success does not depend on one's power of creativity, the ability to plan and execute a program, or the use of marketing skills to make the Church satisfying to an unbeliever. Rather, effectiveness in gospel ministry rests on the extent to which Christ's "sent ones" are set apart by the means of the Word of God. And yet, there is a reason for this request: "As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world." The connection here is vital and must not be missed: this request of Jesus is a prayer of sanctification for gospel ministry, sanctification for engagement with the world. And so, while we cannot be missional without being theological, we must never be theological without being missional. In plain and simple terms: we cannot hope to be authentically Christian without being meaningfully worldly.  (Azurdia, p. 20-21)

Tags:  missional living
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