Below are 20 Truths from Dr. Craig Ott’s new book, The Church on Mission: A Biblical Vision for Transformation among All People. Craig is Professor of Mission and Intercultural studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he occupies the ReachGlobal Chair of Mission.
1. “God has created the church and commissioned the church for his purposes. That calling is spelled out for us in the Scriptures, and our role as his people is to clearly discern that calling. Time and again we must recalibrate our understanding of the church, examine the investment of our energies, and purify our motives so as to maintain alignment with that mission, God’s own mission” (Page 2).
2. “Transformation always has to do with change from something to something else, whereby the change is substantive and affecting the very essence or nature of the object” (Page 5).
3. “A transformational church is a church that becomes God’s instrument of such personal transformation through evangelism and discipleship” (Page 13).
4. “If transformation is the dynamic of our mission, and God’s glory is both the source and goal of our mission, then the church in the power of the Spirit is God’s primary instrument of mission in this age. The church is the only institution on earth entrusted with the message of transformation—the gospel—and the only community that is a living demonstration of that transformation” (Page 19).
5. “Without the gospel there is no forgiveness, no new creation, no church, no transformation” (Page 23).
6. “The church is a kingdom community. The kingdom of God is not only a future hope, but also has broken into history as a present reality in seed form, expressed in and through the life and influence of the church” (Page 31).
7. “A missional ecclesiology emphasizes that the church does not merely send missionaries (as important as that is), but the church itself is God’s missionary, sent into the world as Jesus was sent into the world (John 20:21). In this sense the mission of the church is not merely a task or project that the church is to carry out, but rather is participation in God’s own mission in the world, the missio Dei” (Page 35).
8. “Planting and reproducing churches is integral to God’s purposes in salvation history” (Page 39).
9. “The Christian life is not a matter of merely adopting a list of ethical precepts, but one of essential change in our perspective and orientation to life. The ‘mind’ here is our ability to judge, reason, and understand. Because our natural mind has been corrupted and clouded by sin and society’s norms, the very ability to judge and reason must be renewed” (Page 47).
10. “Sound biblical contextualization will help the church engage the present and prepare for the future with biblical faithfulness” (Page 51).
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Source: Christianity Today