It feels like everyone in Christianity is talking about mission these days. Mission has been a buzzword for decades, likely because Christians are wrestling to make sense of their role in changing societies and are often passionate about being faithful to God’s mission in the world.

David Bosch once famously wrote, “Mission refers to a permanent and intrinsic dimension of the church’s life. The church “is missionary by its nature” . . . and it is impossible to talk about church without at the same time talking about mission. Because God is a missionary God, God’s people are missionary people. The church’s mission is not secondary to its being; the church exists in being sent and in building up itself for its mission . . . Ecclesiology does not precede missiology; there cannot be church without an intrinsic missionary dimension. And Shenk (1991:107) quotes Emil Brunner’s famous adage: “The church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.” [1]

This blog post is an extract from my book Salt, Light, and a City: Ecclesiology for the Global Missional Community (Chapter 18)

Mission is Often a Vague Word

The word “mission” has been widely used in recent decades, but its meaning is often vague and elusive. “Mission” seems to be a word that can mean whatever the speaker or writer wants it to mean, so it’s not clear people are always talking about the same thing. We end up with vague ideas about mission that adapt to the ideologies, theologies, tastes, and preferences of those discussing mission. Perhaps few words are more widely used in Christianity today than “mission”—yet the word’s meaning is vague and elusive and malleable to the theologies and ideologies of those who use it. This is why I love the missiology of David Bosch and Christopher Wright; because they ground their theologies of mission in the grand narrative of the Bible (Genesis through Revelation), preventing their theologies and practices of mission from being a mere extension of their egos, tastes, and personal preferences.

My Definition of Mission

Here’s my definition of Christian mission, which emerges from my examination of the Christian Scriptures. Mission is notoriously difficult to define, but here, I’ll attempt a biblical and comprehensive definition. It’s a long definition, but I’m trying to do justice to the marvelous portrait of mission in the entire Bible:

“Christian mission is joining God’s work in redeeming and restoring all humanity and creation through Jesus Christ. In the grand narrative of the Bible (Genesis through Revelation), we see that God is a missionary God who invites us to join in the divine mission to save humanity from sin and death and to restore all creation to God’s original good and perfect intent.

“Mission is integral (holistic), integrating word, sign, and deed. Mission is doing the work of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit—proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, moving in the power and love of the Spirit, pursuing justice, embodying reconciliation and peacemaking, serving others, embodying Christ through our presence, building communities of believers, caring for creation, suffering for righteousness, living out Christ’s teachings, relying on prayer and God’s guidance, and loving God, neighbors, strangers, and enemies. We are God’s sent people who go with the Good News of salvation and restoration in Christ Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, incarnating the gospel among neighbors and cultures, and making disciples of Jesus Christ among all peoples and nations—these disciples also go and make more disciples.

“Mission is from everywhere to everywhere, and from everyone to everywhere—so it must be polyvocal, polycentric, and intercultural. Mission is joining Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and the gospel, as Christ transforms people and societies and reveals God’s kingdom.”

How is Mission Best Practiced in the Age of World Christianity?

Six themes shape mission in the 21st century (in the age of world Christianity). Collectively, I call this “holisticostal mission” (click HERE for more details on each of these):

1. Polycentric Mission – “Mission is from everywhere to everywhere, and from everyone to everywhere”

2. Polyvocal Mission – “Mission including many voices, which are honored and valued”

3. Intercultural Mission – “Mission showing unity in diversity, embracing all cultures as each culture learns from the others”

4. Integral Mission – “Mission focused on the whole gospel and all of life, integrating proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, pursuing justice, serving others, caring for creation, and transforming society”

5. Spirit-Empowered Mission – “Mission that depends on God’s empowering presence”

6. Christlike Mission – “Mission conformed to Jesus Christ, imitating his incarnation, service, peace, endurance, love, compassion, and mission”

Mission Belongs to God, and We Participate in God’s Mission (Missio Dei)

How does mission relate to the nature of the church? God is a missional God. The missional God has a missional church. Mission is “a permanent and intrinsic dimension of the church’s life.”[2] The church is essentially missional. Mission is central, pivotal, and constitutive of its nature. As Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch say, “The church should define itself in terms of mission—to take the gospel to and incarnate the gospel within a specific context.”[3]

David Bosch writes that “the classical doctrine on the missio Dei as God the Father sending the Son, and God the Father and Son sending the Spirit was expanded to include yet another “movement”: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit sending the church into the world.”[4] The church serves Christ’s mission. The missional purposes and “movements” of the triune God shape the church, which exists because of that mission—the eschatological mission of God’s redemptive reign over all creation and history.

Mission, the Bible, and Jesus Christ

We must root our mission theologies and practices in the grand narratives of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is a missionary book. It reveals a missional God who shapes and sends a mission church.

Missional hermeneutics has core convictions. George Hunsberger describes these convictions this way. “Four distinct emphases can be observed for defining a missional hermeneutic: the missio Dei as the unitive narrative theme of the Bible, the purpose of biblical writings to equip the church for its witness, the contextual and missional locatedness of the Christian community, and the dynamic of the gospel’s engagement with human cultures. In their convergence, these streams of emphasis provide foundations for the continuing development of a robust missional hermeneutic.”[5]

Missional hermeneutics have matured and thrived during the last couple of decades.[6] This literature seeks a missional interpretation of Scripture’s nature, formation, message, and application. Missional interpretations of Scripture pursue sophisticated approaches to biblical interpretation. They show the relationship between the missional Messiah, the missional Trinity, the missional Scriptures, the missional kingdom, and the missional church. This isn’t gathering biblical proof texts for the church’s mission. This is tracing the missiological themes and narratives that run throughout Scripture.

Christopher Wright goes on to outline how mission produced the Bible. He shows how mission redefines our understanding of biblical authority. A missional interpretation of Scripture leads us to read biblical imperatives and indicates together. “God with a mission” is our interpretive starting point. This has missional implications for our theologies of church and mission. “God with a mission” shapes our biblical interpretation. It forms our expressions of faith, church, and mission.[7]

God is a missionary God (in very nature). God shapes a global missional church (in its very nature). The missional God calls the global missional church to global missional conversations. These conversations include the formation of global and local missional theologies. We form such global missional theologies with close attention to global and local missional interpretations of the missional Christian Scriptures.

Our understandings of Jesus and his church lead to compelling mission when they are scriptural and gospel-centered. And they lead to transforming mission when they are enamored with the Messiah’s cross, resurrection, return, and reign.

Missional churches depend absolutely on and confidently believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in Jesus permeates and forges their leadership and ministry structures. Faith in Jesus shapes their mission in the world and their witness to Christ. Hope in Jesus and love for him transform our reading and application of Scripture. We read and apply all Scripture in the light of his Messianic mission.[8]

Hans Küng says that the church is “maintained in truth” when it remains in the unique “truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” He asserts that “all perspectives, reasoning, practices, church leaders and authorities, doctrines, personalities, faiths, and so forth, are ultimately subject to the Christian message, the gospel of Jesus Christ as originally recorded in the New Testament . . . and thus Jesus Christ himself.”[9] Küng makes a case for the presence of Christ “in the entire life of the church,” and especially in its worship. Christ and the church are not synonymous. And the church cannot contain him. It is through obedience and submission to Christ that the church grows.

Hans Küng writes that the church grows:

  1. From its head, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Towards its head, who is the goal of all growth.
  3. Inward, in love, faith, hope, and so forth.
  4. Outwards, through the proclamation of the gospel and faithful participation in the mission of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ enables all these aspects of growth and witness. He is the source and wellspring of this vitality and mission. So, the church is “the fullness of Christ, who fills all things with his body.”[10]

When missional ecclesiology is Christ-centered, Christ’s life, sufferings, and crucifixion captivate it, and the resurrection of Christ motivates it. The missional church embraces suffering service and a powerful anticipation of Christ’s return and reign.[11] The Scriptures shape and define this missional and Christological vision. The missional church needs a missional hermeneutic.

John Zizioulas says Christian theology too often focuses entirely on the cross and Christ’s suffering. He says that a healthy ecclesiology will emphasize all aspects of Christology as they present themselves in the whole narrative of Scripture. These include creation, incarnation, suffering, crucifixion, resurrection, parousia, and eschatological reign. “Such an ecclesiology will have profoundly positive consequences for the Christian life, the organization of the Church, the sacraments, and for every aspect of the Church’s witness to the world.”[12]

As the body of Christ, the church embraces the reign of God. This reign expresses itself in history. And it shapes our hope and our mission. “The reign of God, fulfilled, realized, and personified in Christ, remains the horizon of the Church, and the focal point of its own life which it strives to bring to the world.”[13] This vision of Christ’s reign shapes and focuses our reading, interpretation, and application of Scripture.

Miroslav Volf says that the church should continue the mission of Jesus in word, deed, and sign. We proclaim and embody the biblical truths of the new creation, forgiveness, reconciliation, transformation, trinitarian love, and rebirth.[14] Missional churches pursue God’s mission with faithful and confident witnesses to the gospel. The missional church is convinced in the power and truth of Scripture. We proclaim and embody a biblical understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We develop missional hermeneutics as we explore the missional narratives and themes of Scripture. The mission of Jesus ignites our imaginations, passions, and desires. The gospel burns a fire in our hearts and fuels our passion for justice, peace, faith, hope, and love. We grasp, in wonder, the missional nature and scope of the church, the gospel, and the Bible.

Mission is Integral (Holistic)

Jesus calls his church to an “integral (holistic) mission.” What does it mean to say that mission must be integral? What does an integral mission look like, and how is it practiced?[15]

Integral mission isn’t just about what the church does; it is, more importantly, about the nature of the church. Integral mission is about the church’s being and not just its doing. Vinoth Ramachandra says that integral mission “has to do with the church’s integrity.” The church has integrity when it aligns its social justice and proclamation, peacemaking and teaching, compassion and advocacy, public and private practices, actions and preaching, and passion for humility, mercy, love, truth, compassion, and justice.[16] Ramachandra says, “Integral mission is then a way of calling the church to keep together, in her theology as well as in her practice, what the Triune God of the Biblical narrative always brings together: ‘being’ and ‘doing,’ the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘physical,’ the ‘individual’ and the ‘social,’ the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular,’ ‘justice’ and ‘mercy,’ ‘witness’ and ‘unity,’ ‘preaching truth’ and ‘practicing the truth,’ and so on.”[17]

The “Micah Declaration on Integral Mission” defines integral mission (misión integral) and prioritizes the role of the local church in such mission. Christian leaders, activists, and theologians worldwide gathered to draw up this declaration. Here is some of what it says:[18] [19]

“Integral mission or holistic transformation is the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in integral mission our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.

If we ignore the world we betray the word of God, which sends us out to serve the world. If we ignore the word of God we have nothing to bring to the world. Justice and justification by faith, worship and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change and structural change, belong together. As in the life of Jesus, being, doing and saying are at the heart of our integral task . . .

The grace of God is the heartbeat of integral mission . . .

God by grace has given local churches the task of integral mission. The future of integral mission is in planting and enabling local churches to transform the communities of which they are part. Churches as caring and inclusive communities are at the heart of what it means to do integral mission.”

Integral mission invites the church to join Jesus Christ in his being, doing, and saying. Such a mission brings “justice and justification by faith, worship, and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change, and structural change” together. As the church pursues Jesus’s integral mission it reflects the values and spirit of Micah 6:8:“God has shown [all you people] what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”[20]

Integral mission means that the church’s mission is to whole persons in whole bodies and communities through the entire church. God redeems, renews, and restores all of our persons and communities. Jesus is concerned with every part of our life—our mind, body, family, employment, community, neighborhood, sexuality, well-being, and spirit. So, God calls God’s church to serve individuals, people groups, and whole cultures. Integral mission is transformational because it transforms all creation—entire persons, families, and communities.[21]

Integral mission is how Jesus and the early churches understood the mission of God. Integral mission isn’t just about what the church does but also about its nature and being. Our God is a missionary God who cares deeply about the well-being of whole persons, communities, and the world. Integral mission arises out of this missional nature of the triune God. Since God is missional—and cares about the renewal of all people and all creation—God’s church is also missional and must care about the same things.

The church’s integral mission is not primarily a task, operation, action, program, or strategy. It is a response to Jesus and his gospel and kingdom. God gives the church a missional nature and vocation and calls it to serve Jesus and his world.

When the church ignores issues of justice, peacemaking, poverty, and reconciliation, it denies the call of God and refuses to reflect the image of Christ. We can never allow our gospel to become so compromised and disfigured that it becomes about “a conscience-soothing Jesus, with an unscandalous cross, an other-worldly kingdom, a private, inwardly limited spirit, a pocket God, a spiritualized Bible, and an escapist church [whose] goal is a happy, comfortable, and successful life, obtainable through the forgiveness of an abstract sinfulness by faith in an unhistorical Christ.”[22]

Only an integral mission has integrity. This is because the gospel has integrity (the integrity of the heart and person of Jesus Christ), and an integral mission reflects and embodies the integrity of the gospel. Vinoth Ramachandra says,

“Integral mission has to do with the Church’s integrity. Integral mission flows out of an integral gospel and an integrated people. There is a great danger that we transform the mission of the church into a set of special “projects” and “programs,” whether we call them “evangelism” or “socio-political action,” and then look for ways to integrate them methodologically . . . The primary way the church acts upon the world is through the actions of its members in their daily work and their daily relationships with people of other faiths . . . “Integral mission” has to do with the basic issue of the integrity of the church’s life, the consistency between what the church is and what it proclaims.”[23]

Integral mission is gospel mission. In other words, all gospel-shaped missions are integral missions. The gospel should never be reduced to a privatized, individualistic gospel that is only about God dealing with personal sin and pain. God redeems us from the power of sin and death. Through Jesus’s death and resurrection, our sins are forgiven, and we are set free from sin and death to a new life of fullness, hope, faith, love, and glory. But the full gospel of Jesus is much more expansive and cosmic than mere personal or individual forgiveness of sin. The gospel story extends from creation to new creation, from Genesis to Revelation. The gospel tells us that in Jesus Christ, God restores all things, all people, and all creation to God’s originally intended shalom – God’s perfection, glory, justice, harmony, peace, flourishing, goodness, and wholeness.

The world is fed up with false and inadequate forms of the gospel. Christians are, too. When people hear a gospel about personal forgiveness and salvation and God forming a people who join with God in restoring all creation to God’s perfect justice, peace, love, and freedom, they hear the gospel as good news.

What is the true and full gospel? Michael Frost puts it this way: “The gospel is the good news that God has come to rescue and renew all of creation through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.”[24] Or, in the words of Scot McKnight, “The gospel is the work of God to restore humans to union with God and communion with others, in the context of a community, for the good of others and the world.”[25]

Integral mission is attractive to people who suffer poverty and oppression precisely because it’s transformational. Integral mission is focused on human flourishing, freedom from oppression, and the renewal of all creation. A genuinely integral mission is always transformational. Orlando Costas says transformational missions always include proclaiming, discipling, mobilizing, growing, liberating, and celebrating. These “make up the church’s mission-in-life.”[26] And these things are always expressed in the local, messy, everyday realities of people and their churches, families, and neighborhoods.

Transformation, in the words of Vinay Samuel, “is to enable God’s vision of society to be actualized in all relationships, social, economic, and spiritual, so that God’s will may be reflected in human society and God’s love be experienced by all communities, especially the poor.”[27] Mission as transformation (another way of talking about integral mission) combines evangelism and social action, secular and sacred, theory and practice, personal and communal, and more. By bringing all these things together, integral mission honors local communities and their specific concerns, frees people from oppressive use of power, enlivens people’s spiritual and social lives, and inspires people to strive for God’s kingdom of peace, reconciliation, love, justice, and solidarity.

Integral mission is a long-term process, achieved only through the kinds of integral commitments expressed in the “Micah Declaration on Integral Mission.” Transformation is impossible without commitment to local people, in specific communities and families, in particular settings. Vinay Samuel reminds us that integral mission involves a long-term “commitment to community building” and demands “the unity of the whole body of Christ.”[28]

Integral mission recognizes the person in community and appreciates the centrality of social units. It discerns where God is present and at work in the community. It invites people to take part in what God is already doing. Integral mission invests in contexts. It builds social bonds, reconciliation, community, and transformation. Integral mission discerns where God is at work in the world. It notices where the kingdom’s values flourish – integrity, service, humility, peace, and freedom. Transformational mission seeks to develop these values. It does this through mission, discipleship, community building, and social action.[29]

Vinay Samuel challenges the church to respond to human needs. He says the values of the kingdom of God that shape integral mission are clear. And these values become practices. The first value is human dignity. The second is freedom of conscience without threat or control. The third is participation in decisions that affect one’s life and community. The fourth is the struggle against evil and injustice. And finally, the fifth is the cultivation of hope, respect, dignity, humility, faith, love, equity, and mutuality.[30]

Jesus calls his people to declare the whole gospel to the whole world, in word, sign, and deed. The Spirit inspires us to seek “justice and reconciliation throughout human society” and the liberation of all people “from every kind of oppression.”[31] René Padilla says that to achieve this goal we need to ensure that our mission is “truly evangelical – rooted in the gospel and consequently bringing about transformation in society.”[32]

Similarly, Orlando Costas affirms the emphasis placed on the whole gospel in the phrase “the whole gospel for the whole world.” He challenges us to explore what we mean by the whole world: “a vision of ‘the whole world’ is essential for a faithful and relevant proclamation of the whole gospel.”[33] According to Costas, the whole world is both the object and the context of the whole gospel. Jesus gives his gospel to the world. “Hence, the whole world, the world of humans and the world of things, is the object of the gospel.” The world is also the context of the gospel. “It is the context in which the good news of salvation was first given and received and is today proclaimed and heard. Outside the world there is no gospel and certainly no Christian mission.”[34]

Integral mission leads us to care for (to include and honor) those suffering poverty, marginalization, and exclusion. Costas says we share in Christ’s suffering “by serving . . . the poor, the powerless, and the oppressed.”[35] Outside the gate, we “become apostolic agents in the mobilization of a servant church toward its crucified Lord, outside the gate of a comfortable and secure ecclesiastical compound.”[36]

Mission has Distinctive Characteristics

Christian mission is joining with God in the redemption and restoration of all humanity and creation—made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian mission refers to the church’s calling and practice of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, making disciples of all neighborhoods and nations, and serving others in love and compassion. Mission encompasses disciple-making, social justice, community service, caring for creation, evangelism, incarnational living, and the holistic transformation of individuals and societies in alignment with Christ’s teachings and example. It is rooted in the Missio Dei, recognizing that mission is primarily God’s work, and God invites the church to participate. Mission is lived out incarnationally within communities and aims to bring about the kingdom of God on earth, characterized by justice, peace, and reconciliation.

Central to this mission is the concept of being sent and sending others. As God’s sent people, we dedicate our lives to proclaiming and embodying Christ’s gospel, doing justice, loving mercy, walking humbly with God, loving God and neighbor, and going into all the world and making disciples.

We don’t have the luxury of designing our mission according to our preferences and tastes. We participate in God’s mission—we don’t have our own. We see the characteristics of that mission revealed in the mission of God in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.

Here are seven characteristics of Christian mission:

  1. Proclamation of the Gospel: Sharing the message of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection—and our salvation and restoration in him.
  2. Disciple-Making: Teaching and nurturing followers of Jesus in all neighborhoods and nations.
  3. Social Justice: Working toward justice, peace, and reconciliation in society.
  4. Community Service: Serving others with love and compassion, meeting practical needs.
  5. Creation Care: Caring for the environment as part of God’s creation.
  6. Incarnational Living: Embodying Christ’s teachings and example within communities as sent and sending people.
  7. Holistic Transformation: Aiming for the comprehensive transformation of people and societies in alignment with Christ’s teachings (recognizing that this is God’s work and we join with Christ as he, in the power of the Spirit, brings holistic change and transformation).

These characteristics are rooted in the missio Dei, which recognizes that mission is primarily God’s work and that God invites the church to participate in God’s redemptive actions and plan.

Concluding with a Definition of Mission

Mission is a term that’s notoriously difficult to define. But here’s my definition of mission:

“Christian mission is joining God’s work in redeeming and restoring all humanity and creation through Jesus Christ. In the grand narrative of the Bible (Genesis through Revelation), we see that God is a missionary God who invites us to join in the divine mission to save humanity from sin and death and to restore all creation to God’s original good and perfect intent. Mission is integral (holistic), integrating word, sign, and deed. Mission is doing the work of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit—proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, moving in the power and love of the Spirit, pursuing justice, serving others, embodying Christ through our presence, building communities of believers, caring for creation, suffering for righteousness, living out Christ’s teachings, and relying on prayer and God’s guidance. We are God’s sent people who go with the Good News of salvation and restoration in Christ Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, incarnating the gospel among neighbors and cultures, and making disciples of Jesus Christ among all peoples and nations—these disciples also go and make more disciples. Mission is joining Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and the gospel, as Christ transforms people and societies and reveals God’s kingdom.”

This blog post is an extract from my book Salt, Light, and a City: Ecclesiology for the Global Missional Community (Chapter 18)

[1] Bosch, Believing in the Future, 32.

[2] Bosch, Believing in the Future, 27–32.

[3] Frost and Hirsch, Shaping of Things to Come, xi.

[4] Bosch, Transforming Mission, 390.

[5] Hunsberger, “Proposals for a Missional Hermeneutic: Mapping a Conversation,” 309.

[6] Hill, GlobalChurch, 429–34.

[7] Wright, The Mission of God. 61–69.

[8] See Piper, God Is the Gospel; Goldsworthy, “Gospel.”

[9] Küng, Church—Maintained, 20, 40.

[10] Küng, Church, 234–41.

[11] Or any form of ecclesiology, for that matter.

[12] Zizioulas, Lectures in Dogmatics, 132–35. See Moltmann’s reflections on “the community of the cross” and “the resurrection and the future of Jesus” and the church: Moltmann, Church in the Power, 85–97; Moltmann, Theology of Hope, 139–229; Moltmann, Open Church, 82–94.

[13] Küng, Church, 96.

[14] Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, 13–34.

[15] Adapted from Hill, Global Church, 55–60.

[16] Hill, Global Church, 66–67.

[17] V. Ramachandra, “Integral Mission: Exploring a Concept,” in Integral Mission: The Way Forward, ed. C. V. Mathew (Kerala: Christava Sahitya Samithy, 2006), 45–46.

[18] Micah Network, “Micah Network Declaration on Integral Mission,” accessed 8 November 2019,

[19] T. Chester, ed., Justice, Mercy and Humility: Integral Mission and the Poor (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2002), 19–21. See also W. Ma and B. Woolnough, eds., Holistic Mission: God’s Plan for God’s People (Eugene, OR: Regnum, 2010).

[20] Hill, Global Church, 66–67.

[21] S. Escobar, A Time for Mission: The Challenge for Global Christianity (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), 142–154. Note that A Time for Mission and The New Global Mission are the same book. The first is the Inter-Varsity Press (UK) edition, and the second is the InterVarsity Press (US) edition.

[22] O. E. Costas, Christ outside the Gate: Mission beyond Christendom (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1982), 80.

[23] Ramachandra, “Integral Mission,” 57.

[24] Michael Frost in a Facebook conversation on 7 November 2019, accessed 8 November 2019,

[25] S. McKnight, Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us (Brewster, MA: Paraclete, 2005), xii.

[26] O. E. Costas, The Integrity of Mission: The Inner Life and Outreach of the Church, 1st ed. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979), xiii.

[27] V. Samuel and C. Sugden, eds., Mission as Transformation: A Theology of the Whole Gospel (Oxford: Regnum, 1999), ii.

[28] Samuel and Sugden, Mission as Transformation, 227–235; V. Samuel and A. Hauser, Proclaiming Christ in Christ’s Way: Studies in Integral Evangelism (Oxford: Regnum, 1989), 10–12. Quote copied from

[29] Hill, Global Church, 57.

[30] V. Samuel and C. Sugden, eds., The Church in Response to Human Need (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 149–150.

[31] C. R. Padilla, Mission between the Times: Essays on the Kingdom (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985), 186–199.

[32] C. R. Padilla and T. Yamamori, eds., The Local Church, Agent of Transformation: An Ecclesiology for Integral Mission (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Kairos, 2004), 19–20.

[33] Costas, Christ outside the Gate, 163.

[34] Costas, 163. This paragraph is copied directly from Hill, Global Church, 58–59.

[35] Costas, Christ outside the Gate, 172.

[36] Costas, 194.

Graham Joseph Hill

Rev. Dr. Graham Joseph Hill OAM serves as Mission Catalyst for Church Planting and Missional Renewal with the Uniting Church in NSW and ACT, Australia. Previously, he was the Principal of Stirling Theological College (Melbourne), the Vice-Principal of Morling Theological College (Sydney), and an Associate Professor at the University of Divinity, Australia. Graham is an ordained and accredited minister with the Baptist Churches of Australia. Graham received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2024 for “service to theological education and to the Baptist Churches of Australia.” He has planted and pastored churches and been in ministry since 1988. Graham is the author or editor of 15 books. Graham writes at

Graham's qualifications include: OAM, Honours Diploma of Ministry (SCD), Bachelor of Theology (SCD), Master of Theology (Notre Dame), and Doctor of Philosophy (Flinders).

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