Truth and Nails

"Missions Shift or Church Drift" - David Ruten

May 07, 2021 Sean Season 1 Episode 13
Truth and Nails
"Missions Shift or Church Drift" - David Ruten
Chapters
Truth and Nails
"Missions Shift or Church Drift" - David Ruten
May 07, 2021 Season 1 Episode 13
Sean

"Missions Shift or Church Drift"
In this interview with David Ruten  we wanted to tackle the shift in how our churches view missions. Are we still sending as many missionaries? Is the work done? Is sending money  all the North American church is to be doing?
How can we engage our people in the call of all Christians to "go and make disciples of all nations"?

David Ruten is the member and pastoral care rep. for SIM. David  grew up in Burkina Faso and later returned with his family to serve as missionaries with SIM. He and his wife Marianne Now live in Langham Sk. and are seeking to re-engage churches for a heart of mission.

Show Notes:
Without a doubt, there have been ethnocentric missionaries who obscured the goodness of the gospel for the world, regardless of their intentions. But such examples are far from the norm. In fact, the opposite is often the case.

At the end of a decade-long statistical analysis of the health and development of nations, sociologist Robert Woodberry (PhD, UNC-Chapel Hill) and his fifty-person research team published a shocking discovery: missionaries are actually the greatest catalyst in the development and stability of nations.
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/january-february/world-missionaries-made.html - The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries

Yet not just any missionaries.

Woodberry’s observations only held true for “conversionary Protestants” (244). 
That is, missionaries (1) who preached the gospel with the intent of converting others and forming churches, (2) who encouraged everyone to read the Bible in the local language, and (3) who taught that salvation comes by grace through faith.

“Missionaries are the greatest catalyst in the development and stability of nations.”

...Woodberry summarized the positive effect of Protestant missionary work: “Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are, on average, more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.”

Far from being some kind of repressive imperialists, missionaries have historically been the most vital source of a nation’s social development. These findings yield two important conclusions about the work of Protestant missionaries. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/gospel-worship/excerpts/is-christianity-good-for-the-world As John Piper observed of Woodberry’s findings, “[T]he missionaries who focused least on political transformation and most on personal conversion through the preaching of the gospel have brought about the greatest democratic reforms and social welfare.”

In other words, most missionaries were not deliberate social reformers. That was not their chief aim. The society-benefitting effects of their work, therefore, were essentially by products of their mission to make disciples.

“Making disciples is still the most effective way to improve the world.”

To be sure, gospel-driven social action is absolutely necessary ...However, focusing on good works as the primary way to achieve societal change is both theologically misguided and statistically discredited.

Working for societal transformation is vitally important and biblically commanded (Gen. 1:28; Isa. 1:17; Jer. 29:7; Jas. 1:27; Rev. 21:5). But the best way to achieve that goal is emphasizing evangelism and church planting—not exclusively, but primarily, “as of first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3 ESV).

This conclusion runs counter to the prevailing narrative today, even among some Christians. Yet the statistical data strongly confirms the point, and it is vital that we heed it. Making disciples is still the most effective way to improve the world.

Show Notes

"Missions Shift or Church Drift"
In this interview with David Ruten  we wanted to tackle the shift in how our churches view missions. Are we still sending as many missionaries? Is the work done? Is sending money  all the North American church is to be doing?
How can we engage our people in the call of all Christians to "go and make disciples of all nations"?

David Ruten is the member and pastoral care rep. for SIM. David  grew up in Burkina Faso and later returned with his family to serve as missionaries with SIM. He and his wife Marianne Now live in Langham Sk. and are seeking to re-engage churches for a heart of mission.

Show Notes:
Without a doubt, there have been ethnocentric missionaries who obscured the goodness of the gospel for the world, regardless of their intentions. But such examples are far from the norm. In fact, the opposite is often the case.

At the end of a decade-long statistical analysis of the health and development of nations, sociologist Robert Woodberry (PhD, UNC-Chapel Hill) and his fifty-person research team published a shocking discovery: missionaries are actually the greatest catalyst in the development and stability of nations.
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/january-february/world-missionaries-made.html - The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries

Yet not just any missionaries.

Woodberry’s observations only held true for “conversionary Protestants” (244). 
That is, missionaries (1) who preached the gospel with the intent of converting others and forming churches, (2) who encouraged everyone to read the Bible in the local language, and (3) who taught that salvation comes by grace through faith.

“Missionaries are the greatest catalyst in the development and stability of nations.”

...Woodberry summarized the positive effect of Protestant missionary work: “Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are, on average, more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.”

Far from being some kind of repressive imperialists, missionaries have historically been the most vital source of a nation’s social development. These findings yield two important conclusions about the work of Protestant missionaries. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/gospel-worship/excerpts/is-christianity-good-for-the-world As John Piper observed of Woodberry’s findings, “[T]he missionaries who focused least on political transformation and most on personal conversion through the preaching of the gospel have brought about the greatest democratic reforms and social welfare.”

In other words, most missionaries were not deliberate social reformers. That was not their chief aim. The society-benefitting effects of their work, therefore, were essentially by products of their mission to make disciples.

“Making disciples is still the most effective way to improve the world.”

To be sure, gospel-driven social action is absolutely necessary ...However, focusing on good works as the primary way to achieve societal change is both theologically misguided and statistically discredited.

Working for societal transformation is vitally important and biblically commanded (Gen. 1:28; Isa. 1:17; Jer. 29:7; Jas. 1:27; Rev. 21:5). But the best way to achieve that goal is emphasizing evangelism and church planting—not exclusively, but primarily, “as of first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3 ESV).

This conclusion runs counter to the prevailing narrative today, even among some Christians. Yet the statistical data strongly confirms the point, and it is vital that we heed it. Making disciples is still the most effective way to improve the world.