To My Missionary Colleagues

Dear Missionary (or “Believer Actively Working Toward Building the Kingdom,” for those of you who don’t like or use the word, “missionary”), Although I like to think that my entire blog is written with you as its intended audience, I realize that my thoughts here can sometimes come across as talking about you rather than… Continue reading To My Missionary Colleagues

Anthropology

The concept of unreached people groups is a helpful way for Christians to organize their efforts toward global disciple-making. Around the world, people group themselves along certain lines- lines that also present significant obstacles to the spread of the gospel from one group to another. Ethnography, the practice of studying and categorizing groups of people,… Continue reading Anthropology

Bible

Growing up in church, kids always got special treatment. At my church, for example, there was some unwritten rule giving all adults in church “special” permission to “discipline” us as though we were their own kids. Doyle Braden was an arm-grabber, as I recall. Mr. Lettow would flick the backs of our heads. Sean’s dad… Continue reading Bible

Tradecraft

Tradecraft is the set of skills one acquires though experience in a particular trade. Seasoned businessmen know how to properly vet new leadership. Exceptional communicators are aware of their tone, gestures, volume, and cadence because they know that delivery is as important as content. Good authors don’t forget pay attention to the details that make… Continue reading Tradecraft

stories

Growing up in church, kids always got special treatment. At my church, for example, there was some unwritten rule giving all adults in church “special” permission to “discipline” us as though we were their own kids. Doyle Braden was an arm-grabber, as I recall. Mr. Lettow would flick the backs of our heads. Sean’s dad… Continue reading stories

Love Your Filthy, Disgusting, Sinful City

I meet lots of pastors, church planters, and Christian leaders in my travels. Usually, “Where are you from?” comes only after, “What’s your name?” If you’re planting a church in inner-city Pittsburgh or rural Oklahoma, I’m going to assume that it’s because you feel called to that location. I’m not here to judge, but what… Continue reading Love Your Filthy, Disgusting, Sinful City

The Mission Has A Church

There has been an ongoing discussion among Christian leaders about the relationship of the church and the mission of God. On one side, you’ve got those who say that ecclesiology (theology of church) should come before our missiology (theology of mission). In other words, the church is the most important thing in terms of how… Continue reading The Mission Has A Church

Mission Is Who We Are

In my last post regarding the Anthropological approach to mission, I proposed that the church should replace its task-oriented view of mission with an identity-based one. One thing I failed to do there was explain what, exactly, an identity-based missiology would look like. Mission is not something we do, it’s something we are. The concept… Continue reading Mission Is Who We Are

Beware False Friends

No, I’m not referring to that guy you’ve known since Jr. High that only calls when he needs something (though, come to think of it, watch that guy). “False Friend” is a philological term that refers to a word in the language being learned that sounds similar to a word in the student’s own language.… Continue reading Beware False Friends

The Church, On Mission

This the the third in what I didn’t realize was going to become a series on the relationship between missiology and ecclesiology. I believe this is an extremely helpful conversation. One that needs to happen more and more. Missiologically-driven folks need to hear more about the centrality of the church in the Great Commission. Many… Continue reading The Church, On Mission