Barriers to Missional Living

This past Saturday I heard a message from Aaron Coe, vice president of mobilization  for the North American Mission Board, that I found very relevant to our work as church-planters and those seeking to live out the message of Jesus.  Before you read this, it’s important for you to know that Aaron is speaking from experience as a former church-planter and pastor of the Gallery Church in NY City.  

Here’s the part of his message I wanted to share with you:

Some issues that prevent missional living:

Ethnocentrism:  The belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture.  The tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own.

Paternalism: The system, principle, or practice of managing or governing individuals, businesses, nations, etc., in the manner of a father dealing benevolently and often intrusively with his children.

Insecurity: Lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt (who you are, who you are not)

Territorialism: a principle or system that gives predominance to the landed classes (those already in place)

At different points in my life and ministry, I’ve found myself struggling with each of these issues.  Which one hinders you? 


4 thoughts on “Barriers to Missional Living

  1. Kevin, your comment really gets me to think about this. The thing is, isn’t Jesus the only way? So the Gospel, Jesus, tells us He is the only way. What does that mean as it relates to your comment? Also, is my belief in the Gospel a personal bias, or based in Scriptural Truth? Are we afraid of the fact that somebody has to be right, and somebody has to be wrong? When a person murders, or abuses, we know we are right that they are wrong – right? What informs that process? Thanks for the great dialogue!


    • Stephen, Thanks for commenting. Just to be clear, I definitely believe Jesus is the only way and share your belief in the Gospel because it permeates the scriptures from beginning to end. Everything about the quote (and the larger message it was a part of) comes from this perspective… I’m not sure I understand your questions about right vs. wrong, murder & abuse within the context of the post. Can you clarify before I respond?


  2. Hey Kev. I have been learning in college about the things that you have posted above. Especially paternalism and ethnocentrism. It was good to have someone, the textbook, lay out these and other things that actually can hinder Christianity and the spread of the gospel. Like yourself I have found myself struggling with these and other things. I had to ask myself if they are ok to believe.


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