Missional Evangelism

November 14, 2008 at 1:19 pm 4 comments

This weekend I am helping out at a Conversational Evangelism Conference while I am in the midst of studying things missional and have some questions for those interested in the missional conversation. The context of my questions is the ambiguity and variability of the usage of the term missional these days. Here’s the questions:

  • Do missional and evangelism go together?
  • If yes, how do they fit together?
  • If no, why not?
  • How do you define evangelism?
  • How do you define the gospel?

I appreciate all of you who not only read but take a few minutes to comment. Please answer any of the above questions, I’d love to hear what others are thinking about these things.

I’m having a great time in Kansas City at Christ Church for this event – catching up with Dan Kimball, currently listening to Randy Siever talk about the Myth of Pre-Evangelism and looking forward to hearing Todd Hunter talk about 3 is Enough and The Cultural Context for Conversation.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Would Missional by Any Other Name Sound So Sweet? Futility and Fugacity or Future Hope?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Helen  |  November 14, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I’m glad you’re having fun – I wish I could have been there too but I have commitments at home.

    How long has it been since you last saw Dan?

  • 2. Elizabeth Chapin  |  November 15, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Helen, we had a fun time this weekend, but we missed having you with us.

    I saw Dan this summer when we were in Santa Cruz on a family vacation. It was good to get to hang out with him a bit.

    We had some interesting after hours conversations šŸ˜‰

    Hope your kids are doing well with their music!

  • 3. Joe Burnham  |  November 16, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Do missional and evangelism go together?

    If yes, how do they fit together? I tend to be rather simplistic with my definition of missional. Anytime you as “al” to a now, it makes it and adjective. Therefore, missional describes the noun of ministry or lifestyle, or whatever else you want to attach it to. What’s the description added? Well, since the Latin root of mission means “sent”, there’s the key descriptor behind the noun. Of course, if you’ve been sent, you’ve been sent to do something, and I’d say that a component of that would be evangelism (as defined in the next response).

    How do you define evangelism? I’d define evangelism as anything that, in any way, shares the message of Christ with another person. I shy away from the whole, “with the purpose of conversion” side of dictionary definitions because only the Spirit can bring about faith. From a more image based definition, we could go with, “Sowing seeds of the Gospel.”

    How do you define the gospel? I tend to go with Paul’s definition in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” Sure he goes on from there, but it’s all intended to back the core message and ultimately, the message delivered to the Corinthians.

  • 4. Elizabeth Chapin  |  November 17, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Joe, thanks so much for your reply. I appreciate the interaction – it helps stimulate my thinking to hear what others are thinking. I like your inclusive definition of evangelism, some of us get so caught up on words that we forget that often actions speak louder than words. When Jesus said to do things in his name, he didn’t say, “say” that you are doing things in my name. I think there can be a difference. Just look at the sheep and the goats.


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