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Saving Souls, Serving SocietyUnderstanding the Faith Factor in Church-Based Social Ministry$
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Heidi Rolland Unruh and Ronald J. Sider

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195161556.001.0001

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Defining Mission Orientations

Defining Mission Orientations

The Relationship between Social Action and Evangelism

(p.129) 7 Defining Mission Orientations
Saving Souls, Serving Society

Heidi Rolland Unruh

Ronald J. Sider (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A mission orientation frames a moral order for a congregation's activity and identity. This chapter focuses on the ways that churches organize the spiritual and social dimensions of their public mission. In place of the traditional dichotomy between social activism and evangelism, a more nuanced set of orientations classifies churches as dominant social action, dual-focus, holistic, dominant evangelism, and inward-focused. This spectrum of types indicates that the religious impulses to serve and to save are not always polarized drives; rather, churches interrelate these two imperatives in their community outreach in a range of adaptable, and sometimes rather sophisticated, ways.

Keywords:   mission orientation, churches, public mission, evangelism, social action, community outreach

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