Missional Ecclesiology: What is the role of the church in the mission of God? – with Kellen Criswell

In this week’s episode of the Theology for the People Podcast, I am joined by Kellen Criswell.

Kellen Criswell is a pastor, ministry leader, and former missionary who holds and MA in Global Leadership from Western Seminary and is currently working on his doctorate. He is the Executive Director of Calvary Global Network and has a heart for the mission of God and the global church.

After a brief discussion about Kellen’s favorite music and the fact that he is from Utah (AKA “Colorado Jr.”), we dive into a discussion about Missional Ecclesiology, which is a way of understanding the identity, purpose, and function of the church within the Missio Dei (the love-motivated, self-sending, mission of God into the world to save, redeem, and restore).

One more thought about Utah: If you have to tell people (on your license plates) that you have “the best snow in the world,” you probably don’t. It’s kind of like using the world “Real” in a title. If you have to say that something is “real ______” – it probably isn’t. And also, what Margaret Thatcher said: “Being a leader is like being a lady: If you have to tell people you are one, you probably aren’t.” Same with the snow, Utah…

But I digress…

Ecclesiology is the discussion of what the Church is called to be and to do – including its nature, purpose, hopes, structures, and practices.

We discuss how this concept works out practically, including a discussion of “foreign missions” and how they fit into this understanding. Furthermore, we discuss what the past nearly two years of pandemic has revealed about ecclesiology, and why there is hope as we move forward.

Listen to this episode in the embedded player below or by clicking this link: Missional Ecclesiology: What is the role of the church in the mission of God? – with Kellen Criswell

Missional Ecclesiology: What is the role of the church in the mission of God? – with Kellen Criswell Theology for the People

Kellen Criswell is a pastor, ministry leader, and former missionary who holds and MA in Global Leadership from Western Seminary and is currently working on his doctorate. He is the Executive Director of Calvary Global Network and has a heart for the mission of God and the global church. In this episode we discuss Missional Ecclesiology, which is a way of understanding the identity, purpose, and function of the church within the Missio Dei (mission of God). Ecclesiology is the discussion of what the Church is called to be and to do – including its nature, purpose, hopes, structures, and practices.  We discuss how this concept works out practically, including a discussion of "foreign missions" and how they fit into this understanding. Furthermore, we discuss what the past nearly two years of pandemic has revealed about ecclesiology, and why there is hope as we move forward. Bibliography and recommended resources: Hirsch, Alan. The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating Apostolic Movements. Goheen, Michael. The Church and it’s Vocation: Leslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology.  Stetzer, Ed. Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply. Newbigin, Leslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.  Van Engen, Charles. Transforming Mission Theology.  Wright, Christopher J.H.. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Bosch, David. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission.  Hooker, Paul. "What is Missional Ecclesiology?"  Make sure to check out the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org

Make sure to check out some of the books and papers listed below for more information and study on this topic.

  1. Hirsch, Alan. The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating Apostolic Movements.
  2. Goheen, Michael. The Church and it’s Vocation: Leslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology.
  3. Stetzer, Ed. Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply.
  4. Newbigin, Leslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.
  5. Van Engen, Charles. Transforming Mission Theology.
  6. Wright, Christopher J.H.. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative.
  7. Bosch, David. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission.
  8. Hooker, Paul. “What is Missional Ecclesiology?”

Easter Egg Hunt Recap

In some places the saying goes: “April showers bring May flowers.”

I’m pretty sure in Colorado the saying should be: “February sunshine brings March blizzards.”

March is the snowiest month of the year in Colorado, and this past Wednesday we had a big storm.

Reports varied between 17 inches and 25 inches of snow accumulation. The roadsides looked like car graveyards and large parts of the Front Range were without power for extended periods.

One of the issues for us was that every year our church hosts a big Easter event in Roosevelt Park in downtown Longmont, adjacent to the building we meet in, the St Vrain Memorial Building.

This year, with that much snow on the ground and more snow in the forecast for Friday (last) night, we knew we wouldn’t be able to have the event in the park.

Thankfully we were able to move the event indoors to the Memorial Building.

It’s a big building, and I’ve always said you could easily fit 1000 people in there. Well, today we put that to the test…

Whereas in past years we’ve had up to 1200 people at this event in the park, we figured that with the snow and the move indoors we would see maybe 500 people attend. We were wrong. We know from raffle tickets that we had over 1000 people in attendance.

12916284_976369809077834_4917685554026729778_o
Photo cred.: Devan Siefford

 

The event went well, especially considering the limitations on space. We had a great team of volunteers to serve our community and hopefully next year we can be back outside. Each year is a learning experience, and we look forward to an event better event next year.

One of the highlights of the event each year is the puppet show, which is one of several ways in which we share the true message and meaning of Easter with those who attend.

WhiteFieldsEasterEggSnaps-20
Families enjoying the puppet show. Photo cred.: Charles Jones

Tomorrow is Easter Service at White Fields! He is risen indeed!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3-4)