Righteousness, suffering and participation in Philippians 3:7-11: Integral mission and Paul’s gospel

by Andrew Steere – Theological Edicator, Vineyard School of Ministry – Kenya – September 2018

Is clear thinking about God and the gospel important in integral mission? I suggest yes, for a few reasons. First, because many definitions of the gospel held by cross-cultural workers today were held by followers of Christ in the first few centuries after Jesus’ crucifixion. Many of them originated in the West relatively recently in modern history. Second, because I suspect that some conflict and burnout in cross-cultural workers and church leaders is influenced at least as much by their picture of God and what God is doing in the world as by mental/emotional factors. Finally, because I have seen relationships between cross-cultural workers and local church leaders deteriorate not simply because of cultural differences, but because of an underlying (and unspoken) “the ends justify the means” approach of a transactional/salvific theological paradigm.