Christians today define mission more broadly and variably than ever before. Are we, as the body of Christ, headed in the same direction or are we on divergent missions?
Some argue that the mission of the Church is to confront injustice and alleviate suffering, doing more to express God’s love for the world. Others are concerned that the church is in danger of losing its God-centeredness and thereby emphasize the proclamation of the gospel. It appears as though misunderstanding of mission persists.
Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert believe there is a lot that evangelicals can agree on if only we employ the right categories and build our theology of mission from the same biblical building blocks. Explaining key concepts like kingdom, gospel, and social justice, DeYoung and Gilbert help us to get on the same page—united by a common cause—and launch us forward into the true mission of the church.
Table of Contents:
Part One: Understanding our Mission
1. A Common Word in Need of a Careful Definition
2. What in the World Does Jesus Send Us into the World to Do?
Part Two: Understanding our Categories
3. The Whole Story: Seeing the Biblical Narrative from the Top of Golgotha
4. Are We Missing the Whole Gospel?: Understanding the Good News
5. Kings and Kingdom: Understanding God’s Redemptive Rule
6. Making Sense of Social Justice: Exposition
7. Making Sense of Social Justice: Application
8. Seeking Shalom: Understanding the New Heavens and the New Earth
Part Three: Understanding What WE Do and Why We Do It
9. Zealous for Good Works: Why and How WE Do Good, both as Individuals and as Churches
10. The Great Commission Mission: What It Means and Why It Matters
Epilogue: So You’re Thinking of Starting a New Kind of Church?: Advice for the Young, Motivated, and Missional
Kevin DeYoung (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is the author of several popular books, including Just Do Something and Why We Love the Church.
GREG GILBERT earned his BA from Yale and his MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is senior pastor at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the author of What Is the Gospel? and the co-author of What Is the Mission of the Church?
“In what appears to be a growing tension over what the mission of the church encompasses, DeYoung and Gilbert bring a remarkably balanced book that can correct, restore, and help regardless of which way you lean or land on all things ‘missional.’ I found the chapters on social justice and our motivation in good works to be especially helpful. Whether you are actively engaging the people around you with the gospel and serving the least of these or you are hesitant of anything ‘missional,’ this book will help you rest in God’s plan to reconcile all things to himself in Christ.” - Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Highland Village, Texas; author, The Explicit Gospel
“Christ is the greatest message in the world, and delivering it is the greatest mission. But are we losing our focus? Are we being distracted, sometimes even by good things? Zealous Christians disagree sharply today over the church’s proper ministry and mission. Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert bring us back to first things in an age of mission creep and distraction. Offering balanced wisdom, this book will give us not only encouragement but discomfort exactly where we all need it. It’s the kind of biblical sanity we need at this moment.” - Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California