Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Review: What is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission. by Kevin DeYoung and Gregory D. Gilbert
DeYoung and Gilbert have authored a thoughtful look at the mission of the church. The first task they undertook was to sort through the different ideas and definitions of mission. They do arrive at what seems a reasonable definition, which means I generally agree with it. Much of the book is devoted to developing their theme that mission and ministries can be distinctly different, even to the place of losing sight of one another altogether.
Another point they make later is that the church, a Christian, and a bunch of Christians do not necessarily have the same focus, mission, or ministry. That is a very important point and I think needs to revisited and expanded. The confusion that these authors see about the mission of the church is based in that area, I think.
But, as well written as this book is, the crowning glory for it is the epilogue, a fictitious conversation between a young church starter and a mature pastor. If for no other reason than this epilogue, this book needs to be on the required reading list for pastors and church starters/planters.
There’s isn’t too much to say on the down side about this work. I do feel that one thing that will hurt this book is the title. It will be one of several on the shelf with the word mission in the title.
That said, I do want to say this book is definitely worth the read. It is thought provoking, and well written. It helped me sort through some areas related to mission versus ministry.
This book was provided by Crossway via netGalley for review.