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Two messages on the Church’s mission

There is a lot of talk today about being “missional,” and some of it has caused confusion or even derailed churches from following their actual mission.

Here are two recent messages on the subject:

  1. A message I preached last month at Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, NC – “The Mission Jesus Has Given Us”
  2. A presentation by Dave Doran at a recent GARB conference, which gets into a little of the history behind the issue.
Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

3 Responses to Two messages on the Church’s mission

  1. Hi Scott,
    very interesting material, and it made me aware of something I hadn’t previously realized. What do you think of the implications, though? If we assume that the church should not engage in charitable work but rather, should concentrate on evangelization and discipleship, should churches not also lose their charitable tax status?
    It’s a dreadful thought but may happen anyways at some point in time – why would we be treated differently than any other club where people meet once or twice a week?
    It seems to me, however, that we have gone too far down the path of institutionalization: it seems they had house churches in the first century. Today, we have church buildings where we meet. People may come to these buildings, expecting Christian help, I know of a church that actually has a budget to help in such cases, no strings attached. I think there is a strong case to be made to continue charitable work by local churches. Not doing so would actually ruin our reputation (even more than it already is).
    On the other hand, the clear definition of missions is helpful and shows that at least, international charitable organizations should probably be at least armslength, if not non-denominational.

  2. That’s a great question, Martin. Government relations aside, I would still say that churches are “charities” in that we are clearly tasked with taking care of our own.1 Timothy 5:3-16, for example.

  3. Yeah – I always wondered how it would be if we really looked after the widows and everyone sold what they did not really need to help the poor among us. Much of this is now done by the state, through our taxes. But apart from our own, if someone that is not a Christian, never mind a member, and asks for help, believing that a Christian group might be the right address to find help in distress, I think we would do wrong not to help such a person, even if we’d use church funds. Anyways, thanks for shedding some more light on this topic.

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