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20 Truths from ‘The Church on Mission’

Dr. Craig Ott digs into the relationship between the church and the transformation of the world.
20 Truths from ‘The Church on Mission’
Image: Baker Publishing Group/Canva

1. “God has created the church and commissioned the church for his purposes. That calling is spelled out for us in the Scriptures, and our role as his people is to clearly discern that calling. Time and again we must recalibrate our understanding of the church, examine the investment of our energies, and purify our motives so as to maintain alignment with that mission, God’s own mission” (Page 2).

2. “Transformation always has to do with change from something to something else, whereby the change is substantive and affecting the very essence or nature of the object” (Page 5).

3. “A transformational church is a church that becomes God’s instrument of such personal transformation through evangelism and discipleship” (Page 13).

4. “If transformation is the dynamic of our mission, and God’s glory is both the source and goal of our mission, then the church in the power of the Spirit is God’s primary instrument of mission in this age. The church is the only institution on earth entrusted with the message of transformation—the gospel—and the only community that is a living demonstration of that transformation” (Page 19).

5. “Without the gospel there is no forgiveness, no new creation, no church, no transformation” (Page 23).

6. “The church is a kingdom community. The kingdom of God is not only a future hope, but also has broken into history as a present reality in seed form, expressed in and through the life and influence of the church” (Page 31).

7. “A missional ecclesiology emphasizes that the church does not merely send missionaries (as important as that is), but the church itself is God’s missionary, sent into the world as Jesus was sent into the world (John 20:21). In this sense the mission of the church is not merely a task or project that the church is to carry out, but rather is participation in God’s own mission in the world, the missio Dei” (Page 35).

8. “Planting and reproducing churches is integral to God’s purposes in salvation history” (Page 39).

9. “The Christian life is not a matter of merely adopting a list of ethical precepts, but one of essential change in our perspective and orientation to life. The ‘mind’ here is our ability to judge, reason, and understand. Because our natural mind has been corrupted and clouded by sin and society’s norms, the very ability to judge and reason must be renewed” (Page 47).

10. “Sound biblical contextualization will help the church engage the present and prepare for the future with biblical faithfulness” (Page 51).

11. “Biblical contextualization is not to be confused with compromise or cultural accommodation. It entails at times being countercultural and prophetic, challenging the values and lifestyles of the society. At the same time it entails being relevant, addressing contemporary needs, and communicating in understandable language and forms” (Page 51).

12. “Often we read the New Testament as if it were written to people who had been believers for generations, or even hundreds of years. (like many of our churches today), living in a society that more or less affirms (or is expected to affirm) Christian values. But that is not the world of the New Testament, and it is increasingly less a description of our context (if it ever was). The New Testament was written to first-generation Christians struggling with what it meant to live as followers of Christ in a pagan and often hostile environment” (Page 51, 52).

13. “Let us make no mistake: if we want to multiply transformational churches, we will need to recognize the indispensable centrality of God’s truth as revealed in the Bible. Its sound interpretation and contextually appropriate application are simply not optional for the church to fulfill its mission. We must become inspired anew by God’s calling for us to enter into his story of redemption” (Page 55).

14. “The impact of the church acting as a body is greater than the impact of all its members acting as Individuals” (Page 60).

15. “Thus even in the face of rejection and persecution we are to have influence, but we will need to respond to that opposition with grace, humility, and love” (Page 67).

16. “Truly transformational churches—churches that are a sign, instrument, and foretaste of the kingdom—will engage the world in its physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs with the love of Christ and the truth of the gospel” (Page 75).

17. “Disunity undermines the credibility of the church and discredits our witness” (Page 87).

18. “The world has never had a greater need for churches that manifest genuine love and unity embracing all people than today, when political polarization, ethnic conflict, racial tension, rising xenophobia, economic disparity, and family disintegration so pervade our relationships” (Page 91, 92).

19. “Yet a movement cannot be stronger than the strength of its leaders. Disciples multiply when new believers share their faith with others, multiplying evangelists. But churches multiply only when leaders, church planters, and pastors reproduce” (Page 115).

20. “We have the privilege of participating in God’s mission and being his agents in extending his glory by multiplying transformational churches among all people” (Page 117).

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20 Truths from ‘The Church on Mission’