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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Question in missions

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dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Question in missions

I have a question. Pondering and mulling about missions and what makes a "community" for outreach or mission purposes.

What is a community? To what extent does the NT "ethnes" influence your thoughts on defining community? Is community defined by a particular limited set of shared behaviors? By that last question, I mean something like this: Is it a legitimate community if the people simply share only a love for baseball or they are all coin collectors? Does that make sense?


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Tim

 2015/9/9 21:01Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Question in missions

Act 11:26

And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

I had to look up ethnes and the best I could guess was that you meant ethnic???? Jesus gave us some basic principles on personal character summed up in Holiness or wholeness .. The wholeness of God or His holiness and we are to be disciples of His (Jesus')pretty incomplete I know but.... Toward each other we are called to love (agape) Jhn 13:35

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

As to looking like each other and acting like each other in personality or expression, the question that comes to mind is this, "why would God Who created such a vast array of everything take pleasure in the sameness of His children in "community", seems kind of boring to me." It amazes me how peoples can be so diverse and yet unite in so may ways as long as it is Christ centered.

Could you maybe explain how you meant in terms of mission verses community? I feel a disconnect in the way you seem to be trying to put the two together. Could you maybe share with us a little more on your prospective?


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D.Miller

 2015/9/9 21:24Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:



Ethnes is simply the nations, the peoples.

Missions reach people groups.

Some define people groups now as communities. Some define communities as people with shared interests or behaviors. I wonder if this is truly a NT "ethne" and if mission targeted to a group whose commonality is a behavior is NT mission. If so, what are some historical examples where behavioral community comprised a people group and where a gospel presence and church was established through missions.


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Tim

 2015/9/9 21:53Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Interesting thought, I honestly have no idea except to say there are several different ministries that seem to specialize in reaching a specific target audience/ummm community(?) like Campus Crusades for Christ / The Navigators etc. Those groups do establish a Christ Centered presence and Local congregations. Is that what you are thinking about?

To some degree it seems that missions movements are born out of a burden where those who move a direction have some common ties to those they seem to witness to and the results seem to follow that many who are affected all have some similar central interests, but I honestly do not think that it is always that way or needs to be.

Some examples are the Jews of the first century and than from there you can follow almost every move of God from there. A more contemporary example would be the Jesus people movement (the Hippie Revivals as they were called).


Some here probably have some other examples too they can add, I can't think of any right off hand, hard day and I am beat.


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D.Miller

 2015/9/11 20:01Profile
Lysa
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Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3392
East TN (for now)

 Re: Question in missions

Quote:
by dolfan
What is a community? To what extent does the NT "ethnes" influence your thoughts on defining community? Is community defined by a particular limited set of shared behaviors?


If I'm understanding you right, I think my 'community' is my sphere of influence; which may very well be a set of baseball fans or coin collectors! I have lived in a small town for 20 years but I don't know many of those people at all. The only person's first and last name that I know is my one next door neighbor!!

But my sphere of influence (or community) through writing a devotion for five years and having a jail ministry is much greater than the size of my small town. Does that make sense?

I don't know, maybe I'm going down the wrong road.

God bless,
Lisa


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Lisa

 2015/9/11 21:10Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

Those are good examples of outreach. Not the same as missions. Missions reach ethnes. Missions, as defined by "professional" mission folks, plant churches. They bring indigenous converts to eldership and to lead the Body locally. People who come to Christ as, say, Taramuhara and speak the native language continue to be Taramuhara speaking that language but as believers and ministers to each other and the lost.

I know of no mission that aims at groups which form around behavior. Now there is a reason I ask. Without getting too specific, American church leaders maintain that they are reaching "communities" of one or another sort. But these are not NT "ethne" as missionary effort has been defined. For example, there is no indigenous church planting movement among coin collectors or blues guitarists. That seems silly but I want to make the point without pulling controversial groups into the discussion just yet.

Mission has always been ethnolinguistic, not based on affinity or political power grouping. There is, for example again, no mission that aims to convert women who have abortions and plants a church among women who had abortions. Why? Well one reason is those women, no matter how cohesive and organized they may be, are not an ethne. They are not a people. They are really not in the truest sense a community. I equate community with ethne.

But that equation is very much criticized by contemporary American church leadership. Pastors and so called "missional" thinkers and speakers make their career hay by establishing and conducting different types of works with what they call communities. These so-called communities are nothing more than groups that share an affinity for certain behavior. These groups clamor for the use of the word "community" because it carries so much political and psychological power to be thought of in that way. And, if you are making career hay by reaching "communities", you certainly don't expect that you will make a name for yourself reaching out to someone who lacks power. So the church has invested in empowering groups as communities in order to promote itself and the importance of its own efforts.
It places it self beyond criticism for this by countering that the word community is just a word. That community simply means a group of people with a common interest. But that is manifestly untrue.

In the recent Oberegefell decision, the SCOTUS used the word community three different times to make clear that community is a moral force with moral power. Justice Kennedy even said that same-sex marriage is a building block of the national community.

The American church is bending over backwards to serve groups. The service to these groups manages to create an appearance of cultural engagement. Cultural engagement is the mantra of the contemporary church in this country. It substitutes for gospel preaching and gospel mission. Community is far more than a mere word.

The church suffers the loss of the importance of our many, many works if we are not serving actual communities. But, to the extent we are serving groups that form around conduct and behavior, we are not serving communities. We are not engaged in mission at that level. I submit to you that such is impossible to do. I submit to you that it requires a redefinition of what mission means. It requires redefinition of ethnes. There are other implications to this that I simply don't have time to go into now. And you're already bored. 😊


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Tim

 2015/9/12 13:48Profile
Lysa
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Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3392
East TN (for now)

 Re:


Jesus went into communities preaching, healing the sick, delivering the captives, casting out demons, feeding the multitudes, you name it!

I still don't know if I know what you're talking about!! :) But I do know that any ministry requires we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit or it will not be His work.

God bless


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Lisa

 2015/9/12 16:02Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

Those were actual ethnolinguistic communities. They were not club meetings or the like. It matters because much of what we are doing now in this country is pandering to demographic constituencies based on interest rather than mission.


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Tim

 2015/9/12 16:13Profile





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