Summary of Joy to the World
A mission study for 2010 & 2011
Joy to the World explores how mission and evangelism flow from joyous gratitude for the Good News of Jesus Christ. For United Methodists, Christian mission is a response to God’s presence in Jesus Christ, who came into the world with a message of forgiveness, joy and hope for all of God’s creation. Christians carry this message wherever they go. They are living witness to the belief in Emmanuel—“God with us.” In God’s name, Christians go into all the world to share the Good News.
The purpose of this book is to explore the theology of mission and evangelism in the twenty-first-century context of Christianity as a worldwide religion. The three sections of the book reinforce one another; each can also be studied separately.
Part I sets the biblical and historical context for the reality that Christianity is now the largest world religion, comprising roughly one-third of the population. This section discusses changes in the Christian population, mission structures, and women’s mission work over the past century.
Part II discusses the theological foundations for Christian mission, drawing primarily on the New Testament and on Methodist history as sources for United Methodist understandings of mission and evangelism.
Part III examines several contemporary models of world mission—hospitality, healing, and reconciliation. As ambassadors for Christ, in the healing power of the Holy Spirit, United Methodists share God’s love. Hospitality, healing and reconciliation are all ways of celebrating God’s intention to bring hope and wholeness to the world through Jesus Christ.
Joy to the World! The Lord is come! It is time to celebrate the Good News!
Please note: On page 7, second paragraph of the mission study text "Joy to the World":
"Joy to the World" is a shout of celebration, penned by the great hymn writer Isaac Watts in 1819". The correct date is 1719.