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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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Influences on Congregational Mission

Influences on Congregational Mission

(p.149) 8 Influences on Congregational Mission
Saving Souls, Serving Society

Heidi Rolland Unruh

Ronald J. Sider (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A church's mission orientation may be shaped by a mosaic of influences, including culture, theology, structures of authority, resources, and social context. Congregations do not invent their mission orientation afresh; they draw on established ethnic, denominational and historical scripts of how to conduct outreach, while adding their own innovations. A brief history of the relationship between evangelism and social action, focusing on Anglo American evangelicalism, highlights the legacy of the split between religious conservatives and advocates of the social gospel. This divide does not represent an unchangeable given, but a historic phenomenon that is being actively renegotiated, giving rise to new ministry patterns.

Keywords:   culture, theology, authority, resources, social context, ethnicity, churches, evangelism, social action, evangelicalism, social gospel

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