From Theology to Practice

In a broad sense there are two types of Christian leaders:  Those who listen primarily to human voices and those who focus their hearts on listening to God.  The first try to navigate competing human preferences, expectations, and desires with the goal of satisfying everyone.  The second acknowledge that only God in his Holy Spirit can form us into his kingdom people.  The first seek answers below—in the world; the second above—in God.  That is the purpose of Mission Alive’s Theology Lab:  to teach Christian leaders to move from theology to practice by hearing the voice of God.  

For us, a theology of mission, like the rudder of a boat, guides the mission of God and provides direction.  My wife is fond of remembering how our children frequently wanted to “drive” when we took them on pedal-boats.  At times they were so intent on pedaling, making the boat move, that the rudder was held in an extreme position, and we went in circles.  Realizing their mistake, but still intent on pedaling, they would move the rudder from one extreme to the other so that we zig-zagged across the lake. When Christians operate without the foundation of a missional theology, their lives and ministries tend to zig-zag from fad to fad, from one theological perspective and related philosophies of ministry to another.  A theology of mission, like the rudder of a boat, provides practical direction for Christian ministry.  Continue reading

WHAT WILL YOU DO? – Part 1 – A Tree is Judged by Its Fruit

The gospel writer Matthew tells a story about a young man who approached Jesus with a simple question, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”  Had that young man asked most of us the same question, we might have quickly explained that we believe that we are not saved by works but by faith.  Some of us might have quoted Martin Luther or one of the early leaders of the Protestant Reformation to illustrate how misguided the question was.  Jesus, however, not having the Reformation leaders to guide him, answered simply, “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

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The Gospel – The Cutting Edge

As Christian ministers, we intuitively know that the Good News of the Kingdom of God is the cutting edge of church planting and renewal.  We believe the words of Paul in Rom. 1:16:

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (NIV).

“It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him” (The Message).

The reality, however, is that most of us are hesitant to speak this message to those in Western culture who think religion is a matter of personal conviction and private interpretation.   Our culture has a tendency to render us to silence!

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