Camden Theological Library

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New Frontiers

Posted on 22 May 2014 Gavin Glenn

Redefining Christian Ministry in 21st Century Contexts

Entering the 21st Century, one of the most pressing issues for Christian churches is to have a clear understanding of who they are and what they are about! For Churches in ‘western’ contexts, this becomes critical as western society becomes increasingly ‘post-Christian’ in nature. Putting it another way, we need to redefine ministry for a 21st Century context. The vestigial image of the harmless ‘contemporary’ churches that are still fruitful must be examined afresh. New visions need to be created and endorsed. We are at a new frontier, or rather a set of new frontiers, as unprecedented changes press in on the church from all sides.

In 2012, a small conference of practising ministers who are also academics and ministry students came together at Harvest Bible College, Melbourne, to wrestle with some of the issues of the new frontiers for Christian ministry. They started a conversation, addressing questions that included developments in women’s ministry ‘burnout’. Together they discussed the developing focus of New Zealand Pentecostal churches as they seek to engage with their communities and shared ideas about reaching ‘Aussies’ in creative new ways. A group of masters level students contributed an insightful report on a study tour of effective ministries in the US, UK and China. The conference wrestled with issues of leadership and the place of teaching in the local church. This book is the result of their deliberations.

New Frontiers contains more than theory! On the other hand, the insights contained here are also genuinely research-based, not just ‘tips from what I learned in practice’. This means that this book contains well-thought-through and workable insights for ministry. This book will help ministers and trainee ministers engage with some of the real theological and practical questions they cannot avoid if they desire to make a lasting and effective impact.

These authors have credibility. They are pastoring significant churches, pioneering new ways of reaching ordinary people who couldn’t care less about God, supporting serving ministers to continue in lifelong ministry, and developing fresh modes of training the next generation of ministers and leaders. They are actively engaged in research into ministry practice! This book will certainly stimulate  both your thinking and praxis if you are, or want to be, involved in effective Christian ministry.

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