Date of Award
Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives (DLd)
There is a storm approaching the shores of the American evangelical church that is two-fold. First, there is a macro shift in cultural worldview from modernity, which was embedded in the tenets of the Enlightenment project to a new era called postmodernity. Postmodernity is characterized as a harsh reaction against the utopian ideals of the modern world. What is the appropriate ecclesial response of the American evangelical church to the postmodern world? Secondly, the dominant cultural challenge to Christianity in America is the organizing of life around the attachments of a consumer lifestyle. Consumerism dominates American life however it is not a satisfying pursuit. In the face of the false idol of the consumer lifestyle, how can the American evangelical church be an antidote to the problem of consumerism? I claim that missional communities are a helpful ecclesial response to the problem of postmodernism and consumerism in America because they are communal, simple, and sent-out intentional communities of faith offering an alternative narrative of hope. Chapter 1 provides a description of the problem facing the contemporary American evangelical church. Chapter 2 describes the massive cultural worldview shift from modernity to postmodernity and seeks to locate both challenge and opportunity within that shift. Chapter 3 reports on the mythology of the American dream and the trappings of consumerist lifestyles. Chapter 4 surveys the primitive church for helpful contributions of how to express life as a community of faith. Chapter 5 surveys Christian history for contributions from spiritual ancestors to inform missional communities today. Chapter 6 reports on the unique leadership challenges of todays sent out communities through the example of Pauline communities. Chapter 7 concludes the research study with the beliefs and practices necessary for missional communities today to offer an alternative narrative of hope.
Marshall, Christopher W., "Ordinary Community: Missional Communities as a Helpful Ecclesial Response to the Problem of Postmodernism and Consumerism for the American Evangelical Church" (2013). Doctor of Ministry. 504.