9. Mission spirituality and authentic discipleship
Dr. Wonsuk Ma, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, UK
Dr. Cathy Ross, Church Mission Society, UK
Aims and objectives
The study on mission spirituality seeks to articulate a motivation and dynamic for mission that is rooted in the Kingdom of God. It draws on the experience of the early church, of Christians from all ages, as well as that of new Christian movements, and of the many new churches in the South.
It seeks to understand mission in relation to such concepts as new creation, spiritual gifts, renewal, reconstruction, identity, service and holism. The group has explored the role of the Spirit and of the church as signs and portents of the goal of all endeavour in the glory of God.
Key issues and questions
1. What shape does Christian mission take when it has the Kingdom of God as its ultimate horizon?
2. What is the proper place of the natural order in mission spirituality?
3. Prophetic witness: challenging the "principalities and powers" of human institutions with "signs and wonders" and God-given spiritual authority.
4. Love of enemies; reconciliation and healing through the power of the Cross, and witness through self-emptying, humility, and sacrifice.
5. How can we form new and creative relationships with Christians of all traditions, given our diverse understandings of mission, both locally and at international level? How can we form new and creative relationships with fellow human beings beyond the church?
6. How can we be faithful to our Christian confession while being open, adventurous and discerning in encounter with representatives of other religions?
Study group reports and publications
This group is producing a book, edited by Cathy Ross & Wonsuk Ma, on mission spirituality and authentic discipleship for the Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series.
Group activities and related studies
- Consultation of Edinburgh 2010 Study Group 9, Seoul, March 2009
- West Africa consultation on 'African spirituality, Christian mission and discipleship', Ghana, March 2009
- Papers prepared for Theme 9 by the Missiology Institute, Cochabamba, Bolivia
- Paper produced for Theme 9 by the working group of the Commission for World Mission and Evangelism, World Council of Churches
- 'The rule of seven' is a new monastic/missional model for churches in the Netherlands. For details in English, see the website (with thanks to Johan ter Beek for submitting this)
- Paper submitted by Malcolm I Hunter, specialist in ministry to nomadic peoples, 'All people on earth'
- Paper submitted by Fr Calixto Salvatierra Moreno, member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals and teacher at the Universidad Católica Boliviana, 'Profile of the present day missionary disciple', translated by Pauline Moran for Edinburgh 2010.