In Christian ministry circles the terms professional and professionalism have a long history of producing contrary emotions. While everyone celebrates those who do their job like a ‘pro,’ few get excited about people in ministry who go about their duties with professional detachment. The coin of the realm is passionate commitment, not detached objectivity that observes and reports but doesn’t engage deeply and sacrificially.
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The vocabulary that dominates the theology of mission today features a hierarchy of status describing its very essence. All the terms are derived from the Latin word missio (roughly translated “sent”) and used to convey the concept rooted in the biblical Greek term apostello. At the top is Missio Dei. This is followed by mission and missional in the middle. At the bottom, still championed by ‘unsophisticated slaves to the past,’ is missions.
Every Christian with a heart to please Christ faces a daily challenge to maintain and even grow in integrity—to be as good on the inside as we may seem to others on the outside. The measure of character, as has been wisely observed, is what we do and think when nobody is looking.
Whatever else one may say about Paul’s logic, he makes it clear that all the credit and glory for his work belongs to God. Every person in ministry would humbly acknowledge the same truth. And yet, how often do we seek to position ourselves so that when the report, article, or book is written, we will receive significant credit for the breakthrough? We can’t seem to help wanting to take some of what should be God’s glory alone.
by Gary Corwin Recent events have raised the public profile of a question as old as Islam: “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” The news reports and articles generated by the latest focus on the controversial question have run the gamut of historic opinion, but have left many confused. Part of the reason, . . . read more
by Gary Corwin EVERY UNDERTAKING IMAGINABLE entails risk. Risk is everywhere, but it’s not all the same: Some is avoidable; some is not. Some is necessary, even if it is avoidable. Some is worthy; some is not. Jesus speaks forthrightly about the risk that comes with following him: “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, . . . read more
by Gary Corwin PAIN AND SUFFERING are part of the human condition that we all seek to avoid if we can—that is, unless we are seeking something we esteem more highly. There are, and there always have been, things that individuals value more than the avoidance of pain and suffering. The welfare of loved ones . . . read more
Mission from anywhere to everywhere is here to stay, and most exciting of all, it is something that God’s people can pursue together.
At the Missio Nexus-sponsored North American Mission Leaders Conference last September, a reception took place honoring the 50th anniversary of EMQ. As part of the program, I was asked to make some comments on what I thought EMQ might be keeping its eye on in the future. It occurred to me that my list might be of interest to all of our readers. For the anniversary, I came up with three items. Another has come to mind since, so I’ll offer it here as well.
by Gary Corwin It has been my privilege for the last five years to be part of the leadership team for a network known as Bridging the Divide (BtD). Its purpose is to be a forum for scholars, practitioners, and church leaders committed to the proposition that Muslims should have the best possible opportunities to . . . read more