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Missiology Church Models and Cultural Alignment

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Understanding cultural is crucial to a church's effectiveness.

Missiological Quest and Cultural Question

In each era and each cultural environment, the church defines its missiological quest in culture.

Now, that does not mean that eveything is on the table. There are marks of a biblical church that matter in every cultural setting. However, each church has a quest to figure out how to engage its community and organize its ministries. That's its missional quest and every church should ask such questions.Taking into account the missiological quest, churches then ask based upon the current cultural moment what is the most effective way to accomplish the tasks of a biblical church? This is the cultural question.

While the missiological quest should never change, the answer to the cultural question does change.

The how of ministry is in many ways determined by the who, when, and where of culture.

Observing Paul’s missionary journeys show that he employed different strategies, methods, and/or terminologies in reaching Jews compared to those used in reaching Gentiles. The mission (and the missiological quest) was the same, but the cultural question changed the way he engaged the host culture.

With the cultural question constantly changing, this gives us contextualized church models.

It’s not just an evangelism question; it’s deeper. How we do church also changes from one culture to another. For example, how long does the service go, what approach to music, how to we disciple, etc?

Think of it this way: Missiological quest Cultural question = A contextualized church model.

Let me illustrate the above.

Church Growth and Seeker-Church Model

Think back to the church growth and seeker church movement.

Many such churches blossomed in a day when a lot of boomers were asking questions ...

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