In a recent blog entry, Timothy Tennent (president of Asbury Theological Seminary) writes: “The Millennial generation self identifies as approximately 7% Christian. This is only 2% from being eligible to be classified as an unreached people-group. This means that all churches in North America must regain their missional footing. We are a people on a mission.”
“North America is the fastest growing mission field in the world. This, of course, involves social action, healing, evangelism, apologetics, radical service and much, much more. But, we can no longer assume that we are at the center of Western culture. We are now on the margins prophetically helping this new generation imagine the even greater realities of the inbreaking kingdom.” (www.timothytennent.com)
I have no question that God will continue to build His church, but if we are to have a dynamic renewal of the church in the U.S., it will involve a new commitment to serve and share in a mission spirit. And if that is going to happen, it must involve those who preach and lead.
That’s one reason our theme for this year’s National Conference on Preaching is “Preaching on Mission.” As those who proclaim the Word, we must call the church to fulfill its biblical mission as the Body of Christ in the world. I am hopeful that our outstanding team of speakers will help us all better understand how to engage that urgent task.
I hope you can join us in Atlanta in a couple of weeks (www.ncp2012.com), but even if you can’t I pray that we will all rededicate ourselves to preaching and teaching our Kingdom mission.
Michael Duduit is founding Dean of the College of Christian Studies and the Clamp Divinity School at Anderson University. He also serves as Professor of Christian Ministry. He is the founder and still serves as Executive Editor of Preaching magazine, one of the nation’s premier publications for pastors. His email newsletter, Preaching Now, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences. He is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching, Joy in Ministry: Messages from Second Corinthians, Preaching with Power: Dynamic Insights from Twenty Top Communicators and Communicate With Power.