Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary

While teaching Missional Church in a Postmodern Context at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary last week, I was privileged to interact with wonderful young developing leaders as well as current church pastoral staff members. Staying on campus allowed me to watch student families interacting in the courtyard of the apartments. Their international diversity provides a microcosm of the global church. Their passion for God’s purpose reflects His heart.

Our discussions in class were rich with varied denominational traditions bringing doctrinal differences of interpretation. A common theme was the overarching hunger that the whole world might experience the whole Gospel as truly Good News. Using Christopher J.H. Wright’s, The Mission of God together with my book Shaped by God’s Heart as texts (both available at, we considered how the Gospel transcends cultures, addressing spiritual and global issues that are of vital concern to many in a postmodern and post-Christian environment.

It was exciting to be with those who hungered to imagine and experience the narrative of the Gospel as Good News for the nations: the alien, the impoverished, the sick, the lonely, the lost. I was reminded again that the two great epic narratives of the Old Testament have become our narratives as followers of Jesus, the seed of Abraham, through whom God is blessing the world. In the exodus we remember our redemption from that which enslaved. In the exile, we recall our dispersion among the nations for whom He commands our intercession and blessing. He is on mission through His church.

Watch the video segment and join us in the practice of reading scripture through a missional lens. Write the insights you glean from your own missional reflections on scripture, sharing those with us via email to I look forward to learning with you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2 Timothy 4:17 "But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth."

Reflecting on this verse, I believe that Christ again shows His faithfulness to us when we are following His will. “…If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” Christ desires each of us to utilize the gifts that He has given in our service to Him and ultimately in our service to others. He desires a relationship with us. And as we draw closer to Christ our daily actions become more focused on Him. In our rebirth, we desire to share His love. Sharing is many times difficult in standard ministry formats, and when we are able to serve others with our individual unique gifts and talents as God calls us to, we are then the most effective we can be for His purposes.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” No matter the circumstances, in our faithfulness to Him, He rewards us with His presence. With His strength. Paul was a man that persecuted Christians. He was the ideal focus of Christian evangelism. When his life was transformed, it was evident that the Lord could use this changed individual for great things regardless of his past. In fact, his past brought credibility to his ministry. Christ appoints us each and calls us individually into His service. If our strength comes from the Lord so that we can show His love to all, we are delivered. And in sharing the message we are rescued from every evil attack and brought safely into His eternal Kingdom.

“I was delivered.” So true. So profound. God can use each of us and our life experiences, for His glory. And how exciting to know that He is with us always!