Ed Stetzer writes that every pastor, every church planter and every missionary must use a theological grid and a missiological grid, noting that “church leaders must think both theologically and missiologically.”
Stetzer concludes his first article in the following way, emphasizing the truth that theology matters:
When leading a church through pastoring, planting, or being a missionary, theology matters. What we believe has implications for how we behave. If the gospel is not properly understood, it cannot be persistently proclaimed. If the teachers of the church are not well-engaged, a biblical church will not be present.
Pastors, planters, and missionaries need to be grounded in the theology of the gospel. There is no long-term relevance outside of the eternal things of God. Furthermore, they need to worth from a theological grid as to what church is, what evangelism is, how discipleship matters, and more.
However . . . the right theology must be communicated in a way that makes sense to those we are trying to reach. We need a theological grid, but being a church leader also requires a missiological grid as well.
But theology must also be communicated with and into a certain context. Biblical truth does not change, but its application to contexts does. And it is not necessarily a balance of part of one and part of another. The order is also important. What this means is that the priority is with doctrine/theology which is then applied in various contexts. Stetzer summarizes by stating that theology and missiology
should not be pitted against each other, as if theology and missiology were in conflict with one another. Theology drives missiology and missiology directs theology.
Our theology should serve as the foundation and motivating factor for our missiology, while our missiology should serve to guide how our theology is relayed to the world around us.
A few questions to ponder:
- How do you understand theology and its importance?
- How do you understand missiology and its importance?
- How do you understand the relation between the two?