Craig Nessan Sessions 1-5

Craig Nessan Sessions 1-5


Craig Nessan (Academic Dean and Professor of Contextual Theology, Wartburg Seminary) Sessions 1-5

This course focuses on key theological themes and practical directions for equipping the saints for the work of ministry, building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4 ). Worship is at the center of all congregational life. Yet many times we fail to grasp what God is seeking to make of us through the practices of worship. Jesus came to proclaim and embody the inbreaking of God’s kingdom. This selfsame kingdom is what God is making of us, the church, at worship in Word and sacrament. All “inner mission” and “outer mission” of the congregation derives from what we profess and enact at worship. This includes a comprehensive understanding of stewardship, the engagement in evangelizing, and the service of shalom for the mending of the world.

Beyond Maintenance to Mission: A Theology of the Congregation 

Session 1: God Brings the Kingdom. this session reclaims the centrality of Jesus' teaching and activity centered on God's kingdom.

Session 2: Worship: Kingdom Arriving. This session articulates a theology of worship in accordance with the things of the kingdom. 

Session 3: Stewardship: God Owns All. This session develops stewardship as a comprehensive approach to life based on gratitude and leading to generosity.

Session 4: Evangelizing: Speaking the Kingdom. This session defines evangelizing as “speaking the faith” and introduces concrete practices for provoking a change in congregational culture.

Session 5: Shalom: God Mending the World. This session centers on the character of the church in its engagement in the world as mediator of God’s shalom: reconciliation, social justice, care for creation, and defending human dignity.

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