Systematic Theology

This session was taught at the Christ Church Manchester School of Theology on Saturday 16th May 2020. The CCM School of Theology was set up to serve local churches in Manchester and beyond.

Topic: The Theology of Mission

In this session, we look at the Theology of Mission.

Speaker: John Brett

John is a church leader and church planter. He also heads up the Antioch network of churches.



The Theology of Mission

Identifying the theology of mission

Different approaches to developing a theology of mission, systematic and biblical. God’s mission – the ‘missio dei’. What is God doing on earth?

Part 1: The strands of mission in John 16 and 17

We’re running John 16 and 17 alongside the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20

1. The Holy Spirit
John 16: The Spirit speaks to the disciples and to the world. He changes people’s minds = brings repentance.

The Great Commission is impossible. Jesus’ task is impossible. The impossibility of the task is part of God’s shaping and discipling of us, just as the conquest was God’s shaping of Israel.

2. Joining in the love of the Father, Son and Spirit – relationship
John 17:1-4. Mission is not just a call for others into the heart of God, a call into the relationship between the Father, Son and Spirit, it is also our call into that relationship. Jesus knew the Father
perfectly, and his knowledge of the Father involved doing his work. Note again the idea of presence in Matthew 28:20. Mission grows out of relationship, calls into relationship and grows relationship.

3. The word
John 17:17 Sanctify them by[d] the truth; your word is truth.

The word of God – his promise, the gospel. The gospel is the account of a crucified man. It is the word that makes us holy and the world holy when it responds by faith. It is possible to soften the impact of the word, even in a church. We risk making it less than it is. The risks of friendship evangelism watering down the message.

4. The community
John 17:20-23 The community and the unity of the body is the key focus. The church is not simply an instrument of the gospel. It is Christ on earth and shows the truth of Christ as it expresses our relationship with him.

Running health checks on mission

Based on relationship with God
– Spirit
– Word
– Community

Note the effect of neglecting one element or overemphasising an element.
Back to the mission of God and the defining of mission entirely outside relationship with God – neglecting Spirit, word and church.

Positive examples of mission in relationship, working in the Spirit, word and community.

Part 2: Cross Cultural Mission – going far.

Deploying the strands of mission to cross cultural work.

The justification for going far – heading out of your culture. The different between mission and evangelism.

We are called to plant where Christ is not known, and to bring glory to Christ by making disciples of all nations.

The call to relationship in Spirit, word and community.

The word: Fundamental changes in the way that information flows in the 21st century.

The Spirit: Changes in the demographics of mission in the 21st century.

The community: The renewed importance of character and community builders in 21st mission. The call to share in the character of Christ and the work of Christ.





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