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The Church on Mission

A Biblical Vision for Transformation among All People

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In this scripturally rich exploration, senior missiologist Craig Ott unpacks the mission statement of the church: to glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all people. This concise yet robust biblical-theological treatment focuses on God's glory, a strong ecclesiology, the importance of Scripture, and practical implications for congregational and mission practice.

Ideal for launching discussion and reflection, The Church on Mission helps readers refocus their vision and reignite their commitment to fulfilling God's purposes for their church or mission. It will be of use in introductory classes on missiology, ecclesiology, and church planting and of interest to theologically minded pastors, missionaries, and laypeople.

1. Transformation to God's Glory: The Source and Goal of Our Mission
2. Transformational Communities: The Church as New Creation of the Spirit
3. Transformation and the Word of God: The Power of Biblical Truth
4. Transformational Influence: Salt and Light in the Community and Beyond
5. Transformation for All Peoples: Barrier-Breaking Mission and Inclusion
6. Transformation through Multiplication: Filling the Earth with the Glory of the Lord


"This book certainly lives up to its title and represents a holistic biblical vision for Christ-centered transformation among all people as the central priority of God's people. Every generation needs to read a book like this, which articulately reminds us of our faith, identity, and purpose."

Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair, Wheaton College

"Ott's book provides a refreshing and thought-provoking new perspective on the mission of the church. He uses rich biblical exegesis to clarify the goal and direction of the church: transformation to extend God's glory. Transformation as the purpose and goal of the church bridges the divide between often contentious dualities: word/deed, evangelism/social action, collective/individual, local/global. All of these are for a single purpose: the transformation of individuals, of communities, and of societies for God's glory. Ott moves away from egocentric, personalized spirituality to discipleship with purpose. His book provides a thoroughly readable and biblically founded blueprint for a renewed vision of the church on mission. I will draw deeply from this book as I teach the next generation of agents of transformation."

A. Sue Russell, professor of mission and contextual studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Craig Ott has given us a carefully researched, thoughtfully written, and passionately presented exposition of the church and its calling. The Church on Mission offers a clear and cogent understanding of God's people, their work, and their place in the world, doing so in a thoroughly biblical and theologically informed manner at a time when there is great confusion, uncertainty, and ambiguity about the church. Inviting readers to become students of both God's Word and God's world, Ott has provided us with a faithful and relevant vision for carrying out God's calling, God's commission, and God's commandment to and for all peoples of the world. Pastors, church leaders, and students alike will be blessed by their interaction with this refreshing, engaging, and highly readable book."

David S. Dockery, president, Trinity International University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"In a time when the purpose of the church is unnecessarily being complicated, this book makes things simple. If a church is not on mission, why else would it exist? Dr. Ott has written a fabulous book that gives a blueprint on why we should gather together."

Alvin Sanders, president, World Impact

"In this small volume, Craig Ott casts a rich and impressive resolve for the church on mission that is riveted in careful and balanced scriptural interpretation. The church as a transformational community has the mission to glorify God through the power of the Bible, bringing about an influence on our globe as it reaches out to all the nations and thus invades the world with the glory of the Lord. This marvelous book offers a lifetime's missional reflection on Scripture by an outstanding missionary theologian and teacher-scholar."

Robert Gallagher, professor of intercultural studies, Wheaton College Graduate School

"Craig Ott offers here an accessible primer on missional theology and the church. He unfolds the majesty of God's glory now displayed in the expanding borders of his transformative kingdom made manifest in and through the church's witness and expansion. Craig's prophetic voice calls the church to return to its missional beginnings as a planting, sending, and multiplying kingdom community."

Beth Seversen, associate professor of Christian ministries studies, North Park University

"The church is the central part of God's plan for his work in our world today. His glory is magnified as the church effectively lives out its mission among all people. In The Church on Mission, Craig Ott lays out a compelling biblical foundation of God's mission for the church. Your understanding of God's heart will be deepened and your vision for what Jesus is doing through his church will be expanded. I highly recommend it!"

Kevin Kompelien, president, Evangelical Free Church of America

"With his usual precision, insight, and clarity, Craig Ott has provided a fresh, biblically grounded reaffirmation of the church's mission. Rooted in God's glory and contained in the multiplication of transformational churches among all people, Ott compels us all to deeper study of and intentional participation in God's mission."

Rochelle L. Scheuermann, associate professor of evangelism and leadership, Wheaton College Graduate School

The Author

  1. Craig Ott

    Craig Ott

    Craig Ott (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of mission and intercultural studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he also directs the PhD program in intercultural studies. He has written or edited...

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