Date of Award

3-6-2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Department

Seminary

Abstract

The church is in transition at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Throughout western history, the church has spoken her truth and been a primary source of community, faith, and life. She now struggles to find relevance as contemporary societal currents create confusion. The result is a clash of sacred and secular as the church adapts to a postmodem world and global society.

The contemporary church may have forgotten her identity as God's people sent into the world; instead, she may have found herself a purveyor in a consumerist culture. The thesis of this paper is that the church can regain her biblical identity as a missional community and practice a faithful evangelical mission. Mission involves essential characteristics that are necessary for the church to engage the postmodem world.

Chapter 1 introduces the postmodem challenge and lays the foundation for the rest of the paper. This chapter provides demographics, definitions, and a context for understanding the uniqueness of the challenge. Chapter 2 presents foundation biblical materials about the church's mission and identity, offers scriptural evidence for God's calling, and assesses how far the contemporary church has strayed from its biblical mandate.

Chapter 3 includes material from Christian history and thought that demonstrates the church has reached cultures in the past in ways the modem church has not accomplished. Chapter 4 describes the missional evangelism models applicable in the postmodem environment and the church's response to the challenges.

Different models of leadership are presented in Chapter 5 that facilitate the transition into a missional community. Chapter 6 identifies characteristics essential for missional church evangelistic efforts in the postmodem culture that communicate the gospel in today's world. The paper's conclusion reaffirms the thesis statement and the concept that the church is sent into the world on mission and can engage the postmodem culture.

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