Chapter

Influences on Congregational Mission

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195161556.003.0008
 Influences on Congregational Mission

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A church's mission orientation may be shaped by a mosaic of influences, including culture, theology, structures of authority, resources, and social context. Congregations do not invent their mission orientation afresh; they draw on established ethnic, denominational and historical scripts of how to conduct outreach, while adding their own innovations. A brief history of the relationship between evangelism and social action, focusing on Anglo American evangelicalism, highlights the legacy of the split between religious conservatives and advocates of the social gospel. This divide does not represent an unchangeable given, but a historic phenomenon that is being actively renegotiated, giving rise to new ministry patterns.

Keywords: culture; theology; authority; resources; social context; ethnicity; churches; evangelism; social action; evangelicalism; social gospel

Chapter.  9456 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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