Defining Mission Orientations

Heidi Rolland Unruh and Ronald J. Sider

in Saving Souls, Serving Society

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161557
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835836 | DOI:
 Defining Mission Orientations

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A mission orientation frames a moral order for a congregation's activity and identity. This chapter focuses on the ways that churches organize the spiritual and social dimensions of their public mission. In place of the traditional dichotomy between social activism and evangelism, a more nuanced set of orientations classifies churches as dominant social action, dual-focus, holistic, dominant evangelism, and inward-focused. This spectrum of types indicates that the religious impulses to serve and to save are not always polarized drives; rather, churches interrelate these two imperatives in their community outreach in a range of adaptable, and sometimes rather sophisticated, ways.

Keywords: mission orientation; churches; public mission; evangelism; social action; community outreach

Chapter.  8578 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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