Missional Church

This week I finished Darrell Guder's book 'Missional Church.' It is a book that I think every reformed pastor should read. Others should start elsewhere.

"..God's mission is calling and sending us, the church of Jesus Christ, to be a missionary church in our own societies, in the cultures in which we find ourselves." (5)

"..mission is the mother of theology." (7)

"The basic function of all theology is to equip the chur ch for its calling." (12)

"Mission is not something the church does, a part of its total program. No, the church's essence is missional, for the calling and sending action of God forms its identity. Mission is founded on the mission of God in the world, rather than the church's effort to extend itself." (82)

"There is no cultureless gospel. Jesus himself preached, taught, and healed within a specific cultural context. Nor is it the case that the gospel can be reduced to a set of cultureless principles. The message of the reign of God, the gospel, is always communicated with the thought constructs and practices prevalent within the cultural setting of the church in a specific time and place. But when truly shaped by the Holy Spirit, this message also points beyond its present culture's thought forms and customs to the distictive culture of God's reign proclaimed by Jesus. For this reason, the church is always bicultural, conversant in the language and customs of the surrounding culture and living toward the languae and ethics of the gospel. One of the tasks of the church is to translate the gospel so that the surrounding culture can understand it, yet help those believers who have been in that culture move toward living accrording to the behaviors and communal identity of God's missional people" (114)