Awake in God’s World: Practical Ecclesiology for Missio Dei in the 21st Century

31 January 2024

Awake in God’s World: Practical Ecclesiology for Missio Dei in the 21st Century

This course will be offered in Dutch. It is one of three inspiring courses offered in ETF’s Summer Colloquium, scheduled August 21–26, 2023. This international study week includes lectures, various workshops and times for meeting and reflection.

Registration is open until 1 June 2024.

This course in the field of practical ecclesiology reimagines “being church” as rooted in the Missio Dei (missional theology). Informed by an integral theology of creation and redemption in Christ and by the Spirit, the course explores a posture of open eyes and open ears to discern God’s presence in our reality. Aided by practical theological research, we learn to recognize that our existence as human beings in all our diversity, and of all of life on earth, is a gift from God, even in loss and suffering. The task of interpretation helps us to become aware of God’s ongoing creative and reconciling mission around us for the shalom of the world. The church participates in this hopeful mission in the vulnerable way of Jesus, “seeing what the Father is doing” and opposing the power and domination that damage God’s shalom.

“Being church” is approached bottom-up. To reimagine church, we focus on basic attitudes of trust and learning around Jesus. We exercise discernment, seeking resonance between God’s gift of place, multiple dimensions of the gospel, and the variety of people and gifts God brings together. We reflect on the church’s lived faith practices that perform the gospel in cultural contexts, and on their potential damages. In light of God’s mission, we research and reimagine practices of community, worship, mission and leadership. These practices embody fresh ways of belonging, meaningful encounters, celebration and collaboration for common life, leading to ongoing life-giving conversion of the church and of believers as well as of befriended ‘others’ around them, in unexpected ways.

PROF. DR. JACK BARENTSEN is Professor of Practical Theology at ETF Leuven.

OEDS BLOK, MA is Teacher of Pioneering Leadership at the Baptist Seminary, Amsterdam.

ETF’s Summer Colloquium in August 2024 features three inspiring courses which intersect theology, church and society. The two other courses are:

●      “Biblical Hermeneutics of the Global South” by Prof. Dr. Musa Dube (Emory University, Atlanta)

●      “Pursuing Truth, Unity, and Edification, A Long History of Creeds and Confessions” by Prof. Dr. Aza Goudriaan (Protestant Theological University, Amsterdam & ETF Leuven)

This international study week includes lectures, various workshops and times for meeting and reflection. Our Summer Colloquium is compulsory for ETF Open University students open to interested people with academic qualifications and can serve as additional in-service training for pastors, teachers, and other ministry professionals.

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