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Published September 2014
Churches with front doors that open up mission fields rather than buildings.When Christians answer the clarion call to be missional, too often it is primarily to feel good or to grow in their own faith. But ultimately we remain unsatisfied because, in the end, it’s still about “me”—my church, my faith, my salvation. Then sometimes inspiration dries up. We forget that Jesus is the head of the Church, which exists at God’s pleasure and disposal. God is birthing a new Social Gospel, meant to reclaim mission and justice ministries as prime directives for the Church, and not with the naive thinking of the 19th or 20th centuries. What are the characteristics of this new Social Gospel?
There is an expectation that mission is “with” and not “for” others. There is an acknowledgement that tolerance is not a dirty word and we have to find a peaceable way to live in our intercultural world. It carries the Wesleyan impulse to change the world by working to build God’s kingdom in this world. It offers the grace and salvation of Christ to those in need, believing that none are free unless all are free. It means that we feed the hungry, educate to poor, and equip the powerless in tangible ways.