Planting the Divine Seed in the New Generation – 'A Missionary Mindset' by Douglas Ruffle
: The book "A Missionary Mindset: What Church Leaders Need to Know to Reach their Community -- Lessons from E. Stanley Jones" by Douglas Ruffle
: Help church leaders – clergy and lay – who are starting new communities of faith or redeveloping existing churches – to better and more effectively reach their community by drawing upon the excellent practices of E. Stanley Jones. By the end of the workshop, participants will know how to best use the resource, A Missionary Mindset,
in their local ministry setting.
Our current context for ministry in the United States feels foreign enough to many church leaders that our role seems a lot like being a missionary. We are thrust into a culture estranged from the Christian context that was present 30 or 40 years ago. George Barna and David Kinnaman refer to the current U.S. culture as “churchless.” As many as 70 percent of younger people do not find the church either relevant or meaningful and therefore see no reason to attend. Those of us who have grown up in the church are called upon to learn the language of the people with whom we live and value their music and art and way of dressing and the many other bits and pieces that help us get closer to a culture that we want to communicate with, learn about and love.
Drawing from the wisdom and best practices of missionaries and including stories from my own missionary experience, this workshop will offer insights on how to “read” the culture of a ministry area with a missionary mindset. The challenging question in today’s world is how we can earn enough trust from the people we intend to serve that the gospel message can be heard and heeded. We can approach our mission field as if we were from some different country and learning a new way of communicating, a new culture, a new way to connect people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a missionary mindset.
The workshop will refer to practices of E. Stanley Jones in India, Roland Allen who served in China and highlight transferable principles for today on approaching persons from other faith traditions and those with no faith tradition. It highlights principles such as Prayer, Self-Awareness, Listening, Humility, Love, and Trust.
Workshop summary description:
To reach our communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need, more than ever before in the Western world, a missionary mindset. Our current context for ministry in the United States feels foreign enough to many church leaders that our role seems a lot like that of a missionary. We are surrounded by a culture estranged from the Christian context that was present 30 or 40 years ago. A Missionary Mindset draws upon the wisdom of E. Stanley Jones and other missionaries to delineate the right way to approach people of different faith traditions and those with no faith tradition. The lessons learned will help guide today’s Christian leaders to reach out to their communities with grace, love and humility.
Schedule of the Day's Event
The New Generation—A Missionary Mindset
*$10.00 fee is to help defray the cost for lunch
09:00 AM Opening
09:15 AM Introduction to the Workshop
09:30 AM Our Default Culture and ‘Affinity’
10:15 AM BREAK
- What is a ‘Missionary Mindset’?
- Who was E. Stanley Jones?
- What are the transferable principals we can learn from E. Stanley Jones in our own context and time?
12:00 PM *LUNCH
12:45 PM Who was Roland Allen and why is he important?
01:15 PM Gandhi’s Lessons for Christian
01:45 PM Amérigo Suarez and lay ministry
02:00 PM BREAK
02:15 PM The Story of Facundo
02:30 PM Action Items for your ministry
03:00 PM Closing
About the Author
Douglas Ruffle serves as Associate Executive Director of Path 1, the Division of New Church Starts at Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. Prior to accepting this position in 2013, he served as Coordinator of Congregational Development for the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. Ruffle is author of Roadmap to Renewal: Rediscovering the Church’s Mission
, which has been translated into Spanish (Hoja de Ruta: La Iglesia Renueva Su Misión)
and has been newly published in a revised edition with study guide (2017).
From 1978 to 1987, He served as a missionary (obrero fraternal)
in Argentina under the auspices of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. While in Argentina, Douglas served as a Pastor in the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina as well as a chaplain at the Latin American Education Center (Rosario). Doug holds the Bachelor of Arts degree from Drew University, a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, a Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PhD. from Drew University. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Tammie, and enjoys music, baseball, travel, and volunteering at his local church.