The Christian community has experienced quite a range of changes over the past few decades, including the rapid and nearly uncontrollable exposure to new methods of communication, the shift in values and perceptions of Christian principles and ethics, and many other transformations. As a result, the threat of multiple rifts occurring within the Christian community has emerged.
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Therefore, promoting unity and reaffirming the significance of traditional Christian values, particularly, the ideas relayed in the Scripture, including Christlikeness as the basis, might be the reasonable focus for Christian leaders nowadays. Thus, leaders will be able to bring the community together and promote adherence to the traditional Christian principles, while also valuing the rise in diversity and exploring opportunities for expanding the influence of Christian ideas.
Thus, being on a mission with God and His people can be summarized as the focus on the enhancement of the strength and meaningfulness of the connections between different states and cultures. In fact, the very notion of being on a mission from God as His people may imply the reinforcement of all kinds of connections, including the economic one. As a foray into the history of building the Christian community will show, the role that the promotion of Christian beliefs among the members of global society would suggest the reinforcement of partnerships across countries.1
Likewise, the expansion of Christian ideas as a part of being on a mission from God and His people might be seen as the opportunity to introduce as many new followers to the Christian religion as possible. Although it is crucial to recognize the significance of the beliefs of other cultures, it is the opportunity to rejoice in Christ and gain redemption by following His teachings that will allow for eventual salvation. Therefore, introducing people to the teachings of Jesus and the foundational principles of the Scripture can be regarded as the foundational part of being on a mission from God and His people.2 In this regard, the promotion of spiritual joy could be considered a crucial part of being on a mission from God and His people.3
Therefore, being on a mission from God primarily implies spreading joy and the teachings of Jesus, as well as principal Christian values.
What Is the Role of the American/Western Church in Global Missions Today and for the Next 20 Years?
The American church, as well as the Western church, in general, has had a rather profound role in global Christian missions, the goals of which have changed slightly over centuries while retaining the concept of enlightenment and spiritual growth of the global community. According to Borthwick, the main intent and the role of the American and, by extension, the Western church in global missions, particularly, in the missions to Asia, included what the author referred to as planting the seed and watering it.4 In other words, introducing people to the core concepts of Christianity and encouraging them to accept the word of God remained the priority for the missionaries.
Despite the significant changes that the Christian church has experienced over decades, the core mission of its leaders in the United States and Europe has remained mostly the same. Namely, spreading the word of Christ and opening people’s minds to the possibility of gaining reception by accepting the principal virtues of the Christian faith can be considered the main objective of most missionaries nowadays. However, apart from the specified goal, a more profound and broader underlying idea of unity as the binding force that should bring the global community together seems to remain at the foundation of most modern missions. Thus, the promotion of unity can be regarded as the main objective of present-day Christian leaders.
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Another crucial area of concern includes the reinforcement of the concepts of sanctification and holiness among target audiences, as well as the interpretation of the subject matter and the development of understanding of the described notions. Remarkably, the existing approaches toward interpreting the concepts of holiness and especially sanctification disagree with each other, including the Wesleyan, Augustinian, Reformed, and Pentecostal ones, have shed light on the main differences in the representation of sanctification in different denominations of Christianity.
Specifically, the fact that the notion of holiness ranges from being viewed as unattainable to being considered one of the indispensable elements of the personal spiritual; growth process signifies the necessity for unity and the further dialogue between different branches of the Christian community. Therefore, given the current propensity toward diversification within the Christian church, as well as the increasing hostility toward the opposing views on the issues related to sanctification and holiness, the threat of the Christian church members growing increasingly apart from each other emerges. Herein lies the weight of keeping the community together with the help of the continuous communication and collaboration process, namely, the act of striving toward finding common points of contact and reasonable compromises, especially when it comes to the interpretation of the Scripture.
Moreover, considering the possible scenario for future developments within the Christian community, one should mention the need to establish the notion of interconnectedness as the main goal of the Christian community and its leader for the next 20 years. Due to the rapid changes ad shifts within the global community, the exposure to new ideas and notions, some of which may be in conflict with the foundational Christian values, is mostly uncontrolled. Therefore, the reinforced focus on unity and the search for the opportunities to connect with other people should be regarded as one of the most likely trends to surface in the Christian environment within the next 20 years.
Moreover, the transformation of the Christian mission, which has begun with the development of CEMICA, is likely to promote reconciliation and collaboration between different denominations within the Christian church. There is no need to emphasize the negative effect that multiple disputes and disagreements between Christian denominations have on collaboration between their members. Although the presence of different and often opposing viewpoints on the interpretation of the Scripture and the related theological issues allows broadening the scope of the theological discourse, it also creates a rift between believers. Therefore, the promotion of reconciliation between the members of different denominations could be seen as a possible trend within the next 20 years.
For this reason, the deviation from the traditional denominational structure is likely to become a major trend in the next 20 years. According to Borthwick, CENECA “don’t adhere to their organizational structure of having a general bishop who acts mostly as an ECC bishop.”5 Therefore. The opportunity to introduce a more relaxed approach toward managing collaboration between believers should be regarded as a important trend worth pursuing.
What Does It Mean for You to on Mission with God at This Stage of Your Life?
The interpretation of the idea of being on a mission from God may vary depending on the extent of one’s understanding of the goals of modern Christianity, the role of a Christian leader, the specifics of the present-day environment, and an extensive range of other external and internal factors. Moreover, age and, particularly, the specific stage of sociocognitive and spiritual development defines one’s interpretation of the true meaning of being on a mission from God with His followers to a significant extent. Therefore, the current explanation of the personal stance regarding the Christian mission as a part of a spiritual leader’s journey has deviated significantly from the one that I used to hold as a template several years ago.
Namely, due to the focus on connectivity and the shift occurring in the present-day Christian environment, the focus on reinforcing the strength of the community and the importance of relevant Christian values in church members has grown exponentially. The described aspect of my mission has shaped the way in which my perception of the Christian values and principles, including the concepts of holiness, leadership, and Christlikeness, developed. Specifically, presently, the notion of being on a mission from God includes the incorporation of sustainable, value-added, participatory, and integrated Christian development has gained particular importance for me as a Christian leader.6
The described characteristics of progress in spiritual grown suggest active engagement with the community and the ability to align one’s personal spiritual progress with the one of other Christian community members. As a result, a leader can guide others and provide active support while maintaining a balanced approach toward leadership, guidance and support of the community. Namely, while encouraging compliance with key Christian values and standards, a leader can also serve as the example of the specified compliance, demonstrating humility and the ability to use one’s power for the benefit of the community. Furthermore, the emphasis on the participatory component of the spiritual guidance that one can offer to fellow Christian believers suggests that the target audience can develop the ability to guide themselves through the process of spiritual growth.
In relation to the development and examination of one’s mission with God, one may need to consider the Restoration Project closer since it guides a Christian leader through the process of embedding purpose into one’s mission and introducing direction to it. Indeed, the principles of the Restoration Project apply quite accurately to the developmental stage that I have been undergoing in my spiritual progress as a leader and a believer. Namely, the rise in the importance of work as a form of blessing has been noticed over time. The Restoration Project explains the significance of work in one’s Christian leadership and the accomplishment of one’s mission as making a conscious and continuous effort.
Namely, the interpretation of work as a blessing has marked a shift in my understanding of my mission and the adoption of the perspective necessary for spreading the word of God and encouraging the acceptance of Christian values. Specifically, the emphasis on Christlikeness and the importance of representing an example that believers can follow have been recognized as crucial aspects of the mission-related work and the methods of achieving success.
Furthermore, the future-oriented focus can be considered as a major shift in my understanding of my mission and the methods of prioritizing key tasks. The specified realization meets the criteria set by the Restoration Project, specifically, the emphasis on setting the foundation for future generations to accept the word of God. Moreover, the current approach undertaken to implement the mission from God suggests that the tools for connecting with the community and promoting further collaboration are established and introduced. Specifically, the devices representing the current technological breakthrough are seen as the main method of keeping the participants updated and enhancing collaboration between members of the Christian community.
Overall, the personal interpretation of the mission from od appears to have shifted toward centering the concept of work as the foundational guideline toward attaining the established mission goals. Namely, the promotion of work as the source of satisfaction, spiritual growth, and the development of relationships with the target community should be seen as the path toward promoting crucial virtues and values associated with the Christian faith. For instance, the importance of Christlikeness and the related characteristics supported by the Scripture need to be emphasized to the target community, which becomes possible with the use of work as the key measure for attaining success.
Apart form reinforcing the role of striving to develop Christlikeness, the described approach reinforces collaboration within the Christian church since it introduces its members to the role of a leader and allows them to participate in spiritual practices more actively. Furthermore, it enables Christians to gain agency in their own spiritual progress by promoting independence in key spiritual practices, such as praying. As a result, each believer can elicit a unique meaning from specific practices, particularly, praying, in order to become closer to God.
How Do You See Your Own Call to Mission and Your View of the Role of the Church in Mission Intersecting at This Point in History?
Remarkably, one’s personal call to mission may not necessarily align with the role of the church in mission. However, there are significant overlaps between my personal interpretation of my call to mission a s a Christian leader and the role that the church plays in the said mission. Namely, on an individual level, my role ca be condensed to supporting people in their attempt at gaining Christian value and exploring the depth of Christian wisdom, primarily through the reading and analysis of the scripture.
In addition, connecting my own call to mission with the role that the Christian church plays in it, one should emphasizes the significance of promoting unity and reducing the extent of disagreement within the Christian church. Although, personally, one can only approach the subject matte on a very small scale of a local parish, the described effort will till contribute to implementing a vast change across the Christian community. Specifically, one could view the role of an individual Christian leader in the grand scheme of events as the one of guiding people and building awareness as the platform for introducing a vast range of audiences to Christian principles. Moreover, as an individual, one can reinforce communication and collaboration across the community.
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In addition, the personal role in the mission from God intersects with the role of Christian church in the active enhancement of spreading the word of God on a global scale. Specifically, the introduction of diverse groups into the discourse concerning the Scripture and its interpretation is presently welcome, which aligns with my idea of encouraging the global conversation regarding the importance of Christian values and wisdom. By incorporating innovative communication tools, a Christian leader can promote the cross-cultural dialogue within the global community, which will allow recruiting new believers into the Christian church. The rise in diversity across the Christian community can be seen as the first step toward spreading the word of God on a worldwide scale.
The descried change is expected to address the presence of a rift within the Christian community. Indeed, the existence of multiple disagreements and the resulting attempts at seceding from the traditional Christian church in an endeavor at establishing the new interpretations of the Scripture and its meaning as a default have led to the increase in the levels of misunderstanding and conflicting Christians on a global scale. In turn, the current efforts observed within the Christian church and focusing on the reconciliation between the representatives of different cultures, as well as the overall rise in diversity, can be used to support my personal idea of unifying different denominations and Christian philosophies. As a result, he significance of collaboration within the Christian community will rise.
What Will Be the Integration with The Global Missions Movement, Especially as It Relates to the Engagement of the Majority World?
The emphasis on globalism in Christian missions has risen significantly over the past few decades, mostly due to the increase in global collaboration within other areas. As a result, the promotion of global missions has been increased, with multiple premises for cross-cultural collaboration. Thus, when considering the effects of integrating the present-day Christian movement with the one representing the global mission, one may need to consider the idea of enhancing diversity across the contemporary framework for building awareness and recruiting new Christian believers.
As the existing history of the Christian movement has shown, the lack of regard for the cultural values and philosophies of other people has been the main stumbling block faced by church leaders in their effort to spread the acceptance of Christianity and the ideas established in the Scripture. Therefore, the introduction of the principles of globalization into the mission movement is essential. With the application of the globalization principles, including the focus on multiculturalism and cross-cultural collaboration, the opportunity to address the needs of members of other cultures as they explore the depth of the Christian philosophy and the main postulates of the Scripture.
However, the described change is likely to occur only once the process of cross-cultural communication occurs at a natural pace. Once the perspectives of other cultures are challenges in an uncalled manner, its members are likely to become hostile to the idea of accepting Biblical principles and ideas, which is fraught with further confrontations and the eventual failure to build a strong connection between different communities. Specifically, Shafter et al. promote the idea of challenging different cultures and the concepts embedded into them as the means of advancing the Gospel in different communities. Notably, the specified process allows overcoming not only the culture issues but also the wealth gap.
As Shafter et al. wisely remark, “For the Gospel to reach every society and culture in an increasingly globalized world, it will not be sufficient for rich countries to send missionaries to poor ones.“7 Instead,, active collaboration and knowledge sharing, specifically, the process of exchanging information about one another’s sources of spiritual development, will be needed. Thus, the process of acceptance within the target communities will rise, whereas Christian leaders will be able to locate the path for reaching out to key audiences.
Moreover, the integration with the global mission movement is likely to lead to the promotion of unity among Christians. Although cross-cultural conflicts and misunderstandings are inevitable in the setting that involves high levels of diversity, the presence of multiple opinions will necessitate the idea of creating a unifying set of standards to which the entire community will adhere. For this reason, the foundational concepts relayed in the Scripture are bound to become relevant once again, encouraging more people to follow foundational Christian values ad helping to build stronger connections within the Christian community.8
For this reason, the focus on diversity should be regarded as the main representation of the unifying movement that will represent Christian missions across the globe. Specifically, the University Bible Fellowship (UBF) will help to play a major role in bringing Christians around the globe together and promoting a better understanding of other cultures and their interpretation of the Bible. In addition, the need to recognize dynamic developments within global society, which affect people’s perception of Christian values and philosophy, must be taken into account when designing the strategy for communication with the target demographic.
Overall, the emphasis on expansion and the search for the opportunity to introduce the chance of salvation to other cultures should be seen as one of the key missions for the present-day Christian church. The resulting engagement of the rest of the world into the acceptance of Christian values and principles, in turn, will entail a vast positive change and the further development of the Christian discourse on the cross-cultural level. Therefore, it is crucial for present-day Christian leaders to construct the framework for the global community engagement based on the previous experiences of encouraging the acceptance of Christiana values by other cultures and societies.9
By considering the past mistake and developing respect to and appreciation for other cultures, Christian leaders will be able to increase the appeal of respective values and principles, thus ensuring that a greater range of people accepts them and internalizes them as the foundational standards for ethical decision-making their lifestyle, and spiritual development.
The Christian church has experienced significant changes over the course of the past several decades, yet its mission of expanding and spreading the word of God has remained the same at its core. Due to the need to assist people in reaching salvation through redemption, as well as the pursuit of sanctification and the resulting holiness, the Christian church has been seeking opportunities for exploring new opportunities for building the dialogue within the global community.
The presence of multiple disagreements within the church regarding crucial points of view, such as the interpretation of the Scripture and the concepts of holiness, have created a noticeable divide, which has defied the mission of an individual in the context of the general goal of Christianity. Namely, the promotion of unity, as well as the task of spreading the wisdom and teachings of Jesus among the members of the global community needs to be recognized as the priority for present-day Christian leaders.
Furthermore, the concept of work as the foundational notion on which the current premise of the Restoration Project is based needs to be acknowledged for the Christian church and its leaders to move forward. Namely, by viewing work and, primarily, the process of building awareness among members of the global community, as blessing. A Christian leader will be able to find solace satisfaction, and, ultimately, bliss in the promotion of Christian values within the global community.
For this reason, Christian leaders need to seek contemporary opportunities for creating awareness and introducing people to essential Christian principles and tenets of the related theological postulates. Furthermore, the focus on unity and faith should be centered in the contemporary |Christian church as the tools for promoting the relevant ideas and concepts.
Borthwick, Paul. Western Christians in Global Mission: What’s the Role of the North American Church? Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012.
David Chuck, Jonah and Me (New York, NY: Beaufort Books, 2017.
Wan, Enoch Yee-nock, and Michael Pocock. Missions from the Majority World: Progress, Challenges, and Case Studies. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2009.
- Enoch Wan and and Michael Pocock, Missions from the Majority World: Progress, Challenges, and Case Studies (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2009), p. iii.
- Wan and Pocock, p. iii.
- Wan and Pocock, p. iii.
- Paul Borthwick, Western Christians (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012), p. 169.
- Paul Borthwick, Western Christians, 192.
- Paul Borthwick, Western Christians, 369.
- Shafer et al. 169.
- David Chuck, Jonah and Me (New York, NY: Beaufort Books, 2017), p. 3.
- Wan and Pockock, 176.