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The Challenge of Mission – a 5-part Bible study series
If you want a Bible study/discussion series to explore the challenges to a church setting out to become Jesus-shaped, this is a great resource.
1. The challenge of praying the Lord’s Prayer
A look at the Lord’s Prayer to see what challenges it poses to the church that dares to pray it and live by it. (13 mins 10 secs)
2. What on earth happened to the Kingdom in the mission of the church?
The Kingdom of God is the goal of Jesus’ mission and the content of the gospel – the Good News. It is about regime change: replacing Empire with the Kingdom. How did it become about the extension of the church and escaping to heaven? (12m mins 33 secs)
3. The challenge of money
Jesus spoke about money more than he spoke about love, peace, joy, heaven, hell … This is because, in 313, the Church changed sides in society and became part of the rich and powerful. In Luke’s gospel, 1 verse in 7 is about money. Here we explore the challenge posed by money to a Church that wants to make his Kingdom their priority in mission. (16 mins 50 secs)
4. The challenge to love the world
Reflecting on John 3: 16-17 to explore how God’s mission in Jesus is motivated by love, embraces the whole of creation and has salvation as its goal. The question is why so much of Christian preaching leads people to suggest that God doesn’t love the world but yearns to condemn it, and why churches don’t love the world as God does. (11 mins 59 secs)
5. The challenge of evangelism
A Bible study on Matthew 28: 16-20 considering a fifth and final challenge of the Kingdom: the challenge of evangelism. “Making disciples” is something different to “evangelism-for-evangelicals”, or “mission-for-liberals”: it is the intentional call to follow Jesus and be involved in God’s mission to transform the world into the Kingdom of God. (12 mins 26 secs)
The resurrection is not just something that happened to Jesus. It is God’s means of saving the world. Explore the resurrection from a variety of standpoints.
One danger of Easter is that we fail to recognise that it is nothing less that the future of the whole of creation. The second is that we think it buys us a free pass from the darkness of the world, rather than equipping us to walk the Way of the Cross. Mission is the proper expression of Easter faith – transforming the world into the Kingdom of God. (7 mins 0 secs)
What happened on Easter Sunday isn’t a question about the supernatural (do miracles like raising the dead actually happen?) but about whether or not the biblical promises of salvation – the transformation of the world into the Kingdom of God – are real and going to happen, or whether they’re simply fairy stories we tell ourselves to get through the bad bits. What happened to Jesus’ body matters for these reasons. (6 mins 35 secs)