5 Major Challenges for Mission Agencies. 5. Growth of various church forms

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Church Growth, Church Planting, House Church, Missions
Tags: , ,

Including this challenge undoubtedly reflects my heart as a church-planter. My theological education colleagues would probably put “orality” here, and a more strategic thinker may put “identity and vision” in this fifth spot (or first!) But the growing interest in church planting movements, the rise of the “emerging” church, the explosion of house churches, and the death of denominations are all reshaping the landscape of the global church. Within my own agency, we may need to rethink our definitions of church – and then we will face another balancing act between that definition, and the definitions that most of our supporters cling to.

All of these factors affect most mission agencies, even those traditionally associated with a denomination. Our understanding of church, even in the West, is being shaped by the non-West – and that’s a good thing. However, there are myriad different understandings of what it means to be a church. How do we define church within our global mission? How does the majority of our supporters define church? How do our national partners define church? How do we promote rapid growth of church planting movements (assuming we want to do so), while still effectively training church leaders?

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