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Calling for a Kingdom Evangelicalism

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I believe that you have some sort of stake in the conversation about what it means to be an evangelical Christian, or at least some interest in the national conversation about what meaning evangelicalism carries.

I will go further in supposing that you may have wondered or said aloud something like, “Based on how it’s been co-opted by our culture, I’m not sure ‘evangelical’ or “evangelicalism” are words that I even feel comfortable using anymore.”

If that’s true, you’re in good company.

While we have always enthusiastically embraced Lausanne’s Cape Town Commitment, “A Confession of Faith and a Call to Action” as representative of our ethos and aims, this has been an important conversation for us ever since our first national gathering, “Future Gospel: Renewing Evangelical Imagination for Mission.”

As I transition out of my role as the national director of Missio Alliance, I am very excited to announce the publication of unique resources that we’re preparing to make public for the very first time.

Three years ago, at the request of a substantial number of trusted leaders and friends, Missio Alliance convened a strategic meeting of a diverse array of leaders to wrestle precisely with this issue.

That meeting, which we called, “A Confessing Church Consultation: Discerning a (Kingdom) Way Forward for American Evangelicals,” was shaped around the responses of 50 influential leaders to the question, “What do you discern to be the most urgent missiological, theological, and ecclesiological challenges and/or opportunities facing evangelical Christianity in the United States?

I am not exaggerating when I say that this consultation—the spirit that was embodied and the work that transpired—was one of the holiest and most defining moments of my life. The relationships, conversations, insights, and proposals that emerged from this experience have played a defining role in Missio’s focus and work ever since.

Now, amid escalating forms of division, brokenness, and confusion, and ahead of yet another presidential election that will almost certainly exacerbate these issues, we feel as though it’s important to set forth the content of that consultation for the benefit of others.

Everything we have from this historic gathering is now available to you at kingdomevangelicals.org. There you’ll find more information about the nature, work, and outcomes of this consultation as well as:

  • Professional videos of all the keynote addresses presented at this consultation by Mark Charles, Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Dennis Edwards, Tom Lin, Jo Anne Lyon, Rich Villodas, N.T. Wright
  • Calling for a Kingdom Evangelicalism, an edited eBook of this talks
  • Summary statements that emerged from collaborative conversations among all the participants

As we publish these resources, and as I move on from my role with Missio Alliance, I offer this parting prayer:

Jesus, we remember your words, “I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom…” (Lk 22:29-30a)

Lord, in this our time of great need, help us to hear your voice and to yet again receive your invitation to repent of our own ways in favor of following you, our Savior and King. In your mercy, heal and redeem us that we might enjoy the fullness of life that is found in you, embodying your love for the sake of others and all of your creation.

Amen.

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