Trinity Graduate School of Theology

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Ministry in Contemporary Society, Lesson 001

Christian Ministry, Free Course, Lesson 001

Ministry in Contemporary Society

Missions is a modern term used to convey the idea of spreading Christianity but more specifically mission describes the effort to effect passage over the boundary between faith in Jesus Christ and its absence. Mission calls for a personal faith commitment, which grows out of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  It begins with God’s mission; what God wants accomplished.  It embraces the different dimensions of church life; faith-building, proclamation, worship, compassion, encouragement, and holiness. 

Individual ministries belonging to missions will be shaped through human relationships, personal gifts, need, and occasion.  One who engages in ministry may be a servant, a teacher of Scripture, an equipper, and a delegator.  The nature and function of the church define missions.  In turn, the scope of missions shapes what tasks a missionary undertakes and how they will accomplish these tasks.  Any adaptations of the gospel to modern society must be in keeping with the principles of the gospel and teachings of the New Testament.

From the time of the apostles, Christians have struggled with the relationship of the gospel to culture.  The Old Testament is filled with examples of how the people of Israel adapted to the culture and were, in turn, taken over by the culture.  They accepted the gods of their neighbors and thought like their neighbors.  Through the prophets, God continually called them back to covenant loyalty.  From time to time, God sent afflictions to induce them to consider the fruits of their faithlessness.  Eventually, he executed judgment upon his covenant people by allowing Israel and Judah to fall into the hands of conquerors.

Perhaps church history and missions history should be reviewed in a similar light.  We can surmise that God keeps calling his church to covenant loyalty.  But the larger questions remain: At what points does the presentation of the gospel assail the culture?  At what points does it accommodate itself to the culture?  A related issue pertains to cooperation with other Christian communities.  The gospel does not obligate us to full cooperation with all groups that call themselves Christian, especially where their theology is out of harmony with that of the Bible.

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16 Comments

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  1. Hi Doctor, this site dosen’t application where one can apply for the diploma. If you don’t mind, could you please get back to me so that I can know what to do. Thank you.

  2. i am a minister through my church because of me decation to God and other for the last 15years I want to study more … and get a degree can I do this 703-862-2299

  3. I am a young minister and I am offering helps to my Senior Pastor as an Interpreter and Youth President can i Please partake in this course. and have a certificate to be a minister.

  4. Thank you Dr.Philip for the words you have shared with us.You know ,here have to add this statement from your writing because it is told in such clarified wording that those who are willing ,thy can indeed understand.
    “The Old Testament is filled with examples of how the people of Israel adapted to the culture and were, in turn, taken over by the culture. ”
    It is clear as a day.

    God Bless

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  6. At what points does it accommodate itself to the culture? was asked when you believe in the spirit or the being in your heart and mind… what ever being it may be to you and your religion… thats when it accommodates you and your culture.

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    Pls contact me on my email address. I will be very happy to enrol. I have five others who are interested.

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  14. I was surfing the web and found your site. I am a semi retired pastor of 40+ years in the ministry. Historical, relevant point and questions for thought without a bunch baggage to wade through. I so appreciate the teaching put forth in lesson 001. This is a very interesting school I will let others know of it.

  15. lesson 001. very good points and qustions for thought. Appreciate it.

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