Regaining Our Focus: A Response to the Social Action Trend in Evangelical Missions

Brian Biedebach | May 13, 2014

Today churches and missionaries are being told that to imitate the ministry of Jesus they must add social justice to their understanding of the church’s mission. As pastors and missions committees embrace the idea that social action and gospel proclamation are “two wings of the same bird,” the kind of work that they send their missionaries to do changes, and this has a negative effect on world missions. This article highlights those negative effects in an African context, offers historical, practical, and biblical critiques of the trend, and redirects the church’s attention to understanding and fulfilling the Great Commission in the way the apostles did in Acts and the Epistles.

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Brian Biedebach Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry B.A., Taylor University M. Div., The Master’s Seminary D.Min., The Master’s Seminary Ph.D., Stellenbosch University Dr. Biedebach graduated from The Master’s Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 1996 and soon after resumed missions work in Malawi, Africa. In 1999, Dr. Biedebach accepted the senior pastor position at Grace Christian Church in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2007, Dr. Biedebach transitioned back to Malawi to pastor a new church, International Bible Fellowship Church, and help to establish a TMAI training center in the capital city of Lilongwe. During this time, he also received a Ph.D. from Stellenbosch University, South Africa and taught Homiletics at African Bible College. Dr. Biedebach and his family returned to the United States in 2016 to serve full-time at TMS, with the church and the training center in Lilongwe firmly established.

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