Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Rise of the Pentecostal Church

8.  PENTECOSTAL CHRISTIANITY IS THE FASTEST GROWING SEGMENT OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE WORLD. For centuries the church has thought of itself as existing in three major branches:  Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox.  Within each of these branches there are, of course, countless smaller orders, denominations and bodies of believers.   One of the most dramatic changes […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Church Planting

7.  THE GOAL OF MISSIONS AND THE GREAT COMMISSION IS CHURCH PLANTING The gospels record that the last act of Jesus prior to His ascension was to deliver a final commission to his disciples.  Today, this is known as the Great Commission.  A close examination of the gospels reveals that Jesus issued the Great Commission […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Evangelism vs. Mission

6. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS There is a widespread confusion in local churches today in discerning the difference between the evangelistic mandate of the church and the missionary mandate of the church.  This confusion has led many churches to claim a wide array of mission activities which are actually, in […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Taking Advantage of Our Growing Knowledge

5.  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR GROWING KNOWLEDGE OF NON-CHRISTIAN PEOPLES Going out as a missionary was very different in previous generations compared with today.  It wasn’t that many years ago when a young person would present themselves at the altar of a church and declare their desire to become a foreign missionary and in due […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Pros and Cons of Short Term Missions

4.  SHORT TERM MISSIONS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS AND THE WORST THINGS WHICH HAS EVER HAPPENED TO MISSIONS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH One of the most frequently asked questions is whether I think short-term missions is a healthy or destructive trend in the church today.  Nearly all pastors are aware of the dramatic […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Wisely Investing Our Resources

3.  AS A CHURCH WHERE DO WE INVEST OUR RESOURCES? With the growing interest in the globalization of Christianity and the unprecedented travel of Christians around the world, it is not unusual for churches to be overwhelmed with financial requests to support various missions projects around the world.  Since resources are limited, churches must be […]

Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Urban Context of Missions

2. THE URBAN CONTEXT OF MISSIONS Many people still conceive of the typical mission field as a remote jungle area with half-dressed natives who have never heard of a telephone, much less the gospel of Jesus Christ.[1] This mental paradigm has been reinforced through the biographies of Western missionaries from the 19th century who often […]

Rise of the Non-Western Church: Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century

We live in a rapidly changing world.  What is not as evident is how these global changes influence the church’s role in the world.  This is particularly true in the area of missions.  Many people still think about missions as it was in the 19th century. While the missions mandate itself remains unchanged, the context […]

The Gospel is Rooted in History

One of the most important, but often neglected, phrases in the Apostles’ Creed is the statement, “he suffered under Pontius Pilate.”  Some have wondered why the early church would include the name of the very Roman Governor who presided over Jesus’ trial and ordered his crucifixion into this very ancient confession of faith.  Upon reflection, […]

God of Mission

Neill McGregor, the former director of the National Gallery of Art in London, noted a few years ago that roughly one-third of the greatest European paintings in the collection depict an explicitly biblical theme.[1] This reflects the obvious historical impact which Christianity has had on western civilization.  The irony emerges in that the vast majority […]