The Chronicles

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Modes of Mission: A Missional Practice

Posted on | January 20, 2016 | No Comments

What can we learn from Paul when it comes to living on mission?

Thus far, I have attempted to outline the missional modes, or impulses, of “community” and “sentness” when the missio Dei is enacted. But there is one more missional mode that is enacted when the Church embraces the totality of God’s mission—and that mode is “multiplication.” Multiplication is used by God to advance his mission throughout the world. While the impulse of “multiplication” is hinted at in the Old Testament in places like Genesis 1:28 (“be fruitful and multiply”) and Genesis 15:5 (Abraham’s infinite number of offspring), it becomes very clear in the New Testament.

The Pauline mode of mission enacts the missional impulse of “multiplication.” Paul saw God’s global mission connected to an aspect of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8). Thus, in light of Matthew 28:18–20, Acts 1:8, Acts 9:15, and Romans 15:20, Paul saw his mission to the nations, multiplying believers and churches.

By understanding the mission of God as being directed toward the nations, Paul implemented a mission strategy that included: (1) targeting populated urban centers, (2) evangelizing the city, and (3) planting and establishing churches. This strategy makes the Pauline mode of mission one of “multiplication.”

1. As Paul went to the nations, he would go to their cities. Tim Keller asserts that part of Paul’s mission strategy included going to the largest cities of the region (2002, 29). Seldom do we see Paul navigating away from cities. It seems Paul believed that cities had the greatest potential for gospel impact and gospel multiplication.

2. Once in the city Paul did at least two things.The …

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