The Missional Paradigm and Effective Seminary Education

Last week I wrote several blogs on the state of theological education in North America. I suggested that seminaries need to adjust their mission to the rapidly changing context of the church in twenty-first century America. I further suggested that we need to teach theology and mission as integrated topics, not as separate or unrelated academic disciplines. This story, told … Read More

Ethnography – Developing the Pastoral Skill of Mission

Yesterday, I noted that Dr. Robert Price, associate professor of evangelism and urban ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard (IL), says, “Ethnography is the pastoral skill of mission. Leaders need to be ‘participant observers,’ to get inside the story of the context, from whence we proclaim the gospel.” When I read this quote it grabbed my interest and then made … Read More

The Rise of Ecumenism and Why It Matters

A little over 100 years ago the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh (1910) was a prophetic foretaste of a century-plus renewal of Christian ecumenism, a renewal that has proved to be quite substantial on many different levels. If the truth is told I believe we have made more progress than the participants at the famous Edinburgh Conference imagined at the … Read More

The Missional Perspective and Its Meaning for the Church in North America

A theology of the church that confesses the Christian community to be missio Dei (mission of God) means that the church is much more than a voluntary association of members joined by various means and methods. It is – “the household of God” – the place where Christ dwells by the Spirit with his people upon the earth. When this understanding … Read More

Theology and Missional Church: How Shall We Respond to Our Seismic Culture Shifts?

Theology is vitally important. To listen to many progressively oriented voices these days you’d  think that theology really doesn’t really matter, only love for our neighbors. Christians who are serious about the once-for-all revealed faith must understand that this is a false contrast. Both theology and love matter. Indeed, they matter profoundly. Good theology will actually help you to understand … Read More

ACT3: A Network Rooted in Love

ACT3 added the word “network” to our name last year. The reason for this is both pragmatic and utilitarian. The word “network” had its origin in technology, so far as I can tell, but it has become a useful modern word to describe “an informally interconnected group or association of persons, as friends or professional colleagues” (Merriam-Webster online dictionary, 2013). … Read More

ACT3: Where It Began and Where We Believe God is Leading Us

I am often asked, “When and how did you first get the idea to launch a mission like ACT3?” I could go back to my childhood, at least on one level, but I think the most accurate answer is to go back to the year 1981. That was the year I began what we called: “The Whitefield Ministerial Fellowship.” This … Read More

ACT3 Network: A Journey of Faith

Now and then I take an opportunity on my blog to provide an update on the mission of the ACT3 Network, a ministry I began in 1991. For those who read my ACT3 Weekly (email) our news comes to you each week in the form of announcements, reflections and personal prayer requests. I encourage you to sign up for the … Read More

Why Has the Missional Movement Not Pursued Ecumenism More Seriously?

In yesterday’s blog I wrote in the final paragraph: Only in unity can we remove the scandal of our myriad schisms and heal our frequent divisions, divisions that destroy our witness to the world of the 21st century. Dialogue may not get us to where we need to be, at least not by itself, but it has to be the … Read More

Missional Church and Why It Matters

I read a post earlier this week that claimed the missional church movement, which the author quite incorrectly said was about fifteen years old, would die soon. (The way he defined it I think he is right but the problem is in the word itself and how it has been used and abused. The “fads” will die but this theology … Read More