Over the last several years, I have enjoyed and have been influenced by Eastern Orthodox theology. Recently, I have been listening to the podcast called Faith and Philosophy by Dr. Clark Carlton. Carlton was raised as a Southern Baptist and then converted to the Orthodox Church.
His most recent podcast, The Motive for Missions, is worth listening to. He describes the differences between evangelical mission and Orthodox mission. This was a significant paradigm shift for me years ago and has helped me understand that spiritual formation — learning from Christ how to be like Christ — is the core of participating in God’s mission on earth. Jesus is the genuine model of humanity. And if I’m sent as he was sent, then I need to learn from him the “unforced rhythms of grace” that he had mastered.
Unfortunately, a lot of evangelical mission is performed with means and motives that have nothing to do with Christ — stress, competitiveness, compulsion, personal validation, fame, wealth, etc. It reminds me of a cartoon posted on David Hayward’s blog. Unfortunately, the cartoon demonstrates the “yoke” under which a lot of Christians and ministries work.
You can subscribe to Dr. Carlton’s podcast HERE.