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The Church's Main Purpose

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Paperback ISBN: 9781501835490
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E-Book ISBN: 9781501835506
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Published February 2017

Mission is the church's main business!

Churches and denominations often appear to settle for a primary objective that is less than what the apostles recommended. If we are honest, most church leaders acknowledge that our institutional sense of purpose is inconsistent, at best. In some places the purpose of the church is quite narrowly defined, and in others the definition is so broad that it seems meaningless.

People wonder, “Is this all there is to the church?” It’s a good question, and George Hunter, a longtime keen observer of the church, demonstrates the answer. Hunter’s richly descriptive explanation of the “missional church” will convince leaders and students to recover a clear and consistent sense of purpose.

As we are the stewards of “the faith once delivered to the saints,” so we are the heirs of the mission once entrusted to the apostles and their movements. The church’s mission, locally and globally, is or should be its main business. The “real church” is an “ecclesia”—God’s “called out” people whom the Lord shapes into an “apostolate”—and “sends out” to be publicly present in the world—but not of it. This mission is a serving, witnessing, inviting outreach to all people.

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About the Author

George G. Hunter III

George G. Hunter III is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission and Evangelism, where he served as Dean for 18 years and Distinguished Professor for 10 years. He served as the founding dean of Asbury's E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism. A sought-after speaker and workshop leader, he is one of the country's foremost experts on evangelism and church growth. He has written over a dozen books, including How To Reach Secular People, Church for the Unchurched, The Celtic Way of Evangelism, Leading & Managing a Growing Church, Radical Outreach: The Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism, Christian, Evangelical and . . . Democrat?, The Apostolic Congregation: Church Growth Reconceived for a New Generation, and The Recovery of a Contagious Methodist Movement—all published by Abingdon Press.