Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Dr. Randy Woodley


The Great Commission has often been interpreted as a directive to colonize people and subject them to our agenda. We interpret “make disciples of all nations” as make other parts of the world Christian the way we are Christian. We interpret “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” as compelling them to repudiate any beliefs or practices that conflict with our understanding of Christianity. We interpret “teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” as indoctrinate them with creeds and catechisms. As a postmodern pilgrim, I want to reframe the great commission as a great co-mission—a contemporary apprehension of the missio Dei that recognizes the mutual interdependence of so called senders and receivers. In Chapter 1, I outline the need for co-mission in a postmodern world and introduce my particular context for ministry. In Chapter 2, I discuss a selection of Scriptural texts that provide a biblical understanding of mission as co-mission. In Chapter 3, I review Christendom as a paradigm of power and counter this paradigm with a call to repentance and resistance. In Chapter 4, I explore the expectations and outcomes of the Protestant missionary movement to demonstrate how easy it is to fall into unilateral understandings of mission that generate more bad news than good news. In Chapter 5, I explore the ways in which the kin-dom of God as both “already” and “not yet” calls us to embrace a betwixt and between approach to life in the margins. In Chapter 6, I move beyond the deconstruction of modern missions and offer an oblique approach to mission with special attention to the Bell Tower Community Café—a co-missional work in progress in my current ministry setting.

Included in

Christianity Commons