Monday, March 7, 2011

Impelling God's Mission

Senior Communication Arts student Gabrielle Witham, of Groton, MA, is interning with the Chapel staff this semester. She'll be writing regularly on topics of faith and community.

"Dr. John Franke, theologian and professor at Biblical Seminary in Pennsylvania, spoke on missions in chapel last week. He continued this semester's focus on the spiritual disciplines, and offered students three disciplines of a missional life:

living a life in dependence on God, learning to live in community, and living for others in accordance with Philippians 2.

Franke admitted that as an undergraduate his impression of missions was that it was something conducted far away from the United States in nations where they had never heard God's name. But this opinion shifted as he realized we are all called to be missionaries: the mission of God is also about social change on Earth, here and now; and that the will of God be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Franke's missional message is particularly relevant to Gordon students who understand the importance of belonging to a community of believers and can relate to his comment "I know God loves me, but sometimes I still need a hug." Challenging students to think outside the box when it comes to missions, Franke concluded by asking what needs to change so the reach of the gospel message will extend beyond the barriers that fence it in today. "How will I live out the missionary calling on my life--whether overseas, or in my own neighborhood?"

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