Another of my classes recently finished this spring was Church in Mission, a subject that I truly get excited about. (Note: “Mission” does not necessarely corespond to “Missions”, I will post more on this latter.)
Rather than re-write what it was all about, here is the professor, Dr. Gibbs, description of the subject:
This course seeks to interrelate the disciplines of ecclesiology and missiology from a biblical perspective, and covers the following topics: the Trinitarian nature of the church, the relationship of the Church to the Kingdom of God, New Testament images of the Church, the classical marks of the Church, worship, unity, the Sacraments, ministry of the people of God, mission in the world, and the structuring of the church to facilitate its missionary calling.
What made the class further interesting was the format, one hour of lecture, followed by one hour of small groups in which we worked on a rather extensive group paper.
I think the most important thing I took away from the class is an understanding of the missional nature of God, and the churches responsibility to reflect and engage in that mission. (this also will be covered in another post sometime in the future) It also helped me to articulate why the church must me missional. Though we’ll never do it perfectly, we have a lot of room for improvement. In my estimation, the status quo of most churches is not acceptable, though since I’ve never been a pastor, I must give much grace because I am sure I too will fail in this area. (as I do in so many others) That said, we need to aim high, regardless of our chances for success. (more can be read from my previous post The Missional Ministry of the Church)