Joshua P. Smith

From 2002 to the present, Joshua P. Smith has served in Pamplona, Spain, with EFCA ReachGlobal, where he has been engaged in church planting, evangelism, leadership training, church-based education, preaching, and small group development. Since 2006 he has led a team planting missional house churches in a largely unreached area just outside the city. Having earned a B.A. and M. Div. from The Master’s College and Seminary, he is currently completing a D. Min. in Urban Mission at Westminster Theological Seminary, where his project is focused on establishing house churches as an alternative model for church life and outreach in Pamplona, Spain. He is married with three small children.

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Church After Christendom: A Gospel-Centered Proposal for Post-Christian Mission

How does the Western Church proclaim the gospel to a post-Christian world that does not care about its message? The Church must speak with confidence the authority of Christian scripture, despite the temptation for scriptural relativism. As an alternative to the idolatrous individualism perpetuated in the West, the Church must provide a visible testimony of authentic community. And the Church must adopt a missional identity in which every church member is recognized as an agent of gospel mission. The world is changing, but the Church can make a difference with a renewed, gospel-centered heart.

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Discipleship in Community

Modern Western evangelicalism is experiencing a crisis of discipleship and gospel witness because of its perception of spiritual maturity in almost exclusively individualistic terms. The Scriptures, however, conceive of spirituality and growth in corporate terms. The leader’s role, then, is not to disciple a select few, but to create a culture of mutual discipleship, resulting in communities of genuine grace and repentance. Western churches need to recapture this community approach to discipleship to combat the crisis.

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