Over the past few months, our discipleship group has been having very lively discussions about those things that kill or thwart mission. Specifically, Christian mission, the preaching of the Gospel, Making Disciples, and acts of justice & reconciliation. Early next year I plan to release a book with the tentative tittle “This Kills Mission,” where I lay out in great detail the things that do exactly that.
I don’t usually blog about the preplanned discussions that we have in our discipleship group because most of the time, it feels like ‘privileged’ information. Also, everyone who attends our group is actively involved in missions in their own and other contexts. We are constantly practicing, debriefing, and tweaking our approach to mission. Which leads me to the point of this post.
Determining your theology first, before engaging in God’s mission is like telling God to shut His mouth while you do your own thing.
That said, I’ve seen time and time again bad theology or unsound doctrine kill mission before it even hits the ground. That, or mission becomes some empty cultural liturgy. Is missiology (the theology of mission) determined beforehand, or is it developed ‘as you go,’ or ‘on the way?’
Consider these words from 1 Timothy:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons… In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant/minister/missionary – deacon of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. (1 Timothy 4:1,6)
This and other verses, which I hope to unfold in the comment section connect sentness with soundness of doctrine or theology. So, and as usual, I’ll open this up for discussion here with a few questions:
1. Can bad theology or doctrine thwart mission? God’s mission?
2. Should our theology of mission be understood before we set out or ‘as we go?’
3. In your opinion, what are some classic bad doctrines or theology that thwart or kill mission?