More Information
ISBN: 9781783683659
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 11
Publication Date: 31/12/2017
Pages: 196
Language: English

The Maturing Church

An Integrated Approach to Contextualization, Discipleship and Mission


For a church to be considered mature an integrated approach between contextualization, discipleship and mission is required. Globally, the church is facing multiple challenges both rom within and from without. Despite the challenges, however, churches in the Majority World continue to grow rapidly. But is this growth in numbers accompanied by spiritual depth? And is this growth built upon biblical and theological foundations, so that the church can play its transforming role in the world?

In this book, Dr Ermias Mamo makes the case for an integrated approach, guiding the reader through the topics of discipleship, mission and contextualization, for which he uses his home country of Ethiopia as a working example. Dr Mamo closes with strategies for effective contextualized discipleship and the impact such an approach will have on the future of the church. This is a resource that will benefit all who wish to be part of a church that seeks to shape its theological learning, institutional structure and core values around their identity in Christ and God-given mission.

Author Bios

Ermias G. Mamo

ERIMAS G. MAMO holds a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, USA, and serves as Chaplain and Lecturer in Mission at Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has been involved in various ministries in the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church. Emias, born and raised in southern Ethiopia, is married and has four children, Ephrem, Metasebia, Nathan, and Amen.


Ermias Mamo shines a searchlight on today’s church and reveals some startling deficiencies that can only be remedied by returning to a radical commitment to follow Jesus, with mission as its motivation. This is a book written from a heart that is passionate for the restoration of the church. It lays a solid foundation for promoting a culture of discipleship that will revive the church and change the world. The book deserves a wide readership among all church leaders.

Stuart T. Rochester, PhD
Faculty of Theology,
North-West University

In this book Dr Mamo addresses a critical problem, not only for the church in Africa, but for the church in the West as well, which is the lack of focus on discipleship. All too often, men and women are accepting Jesus as Savior without realizing that he calls us all to a lifetime of growing as his disciples. While Mamo discusses this problem in the Ethiopian church, his suggestions are helpful to all of us in other contexts around the world.

Paul E. Pierson, PhD
Dean Emeritus, School of Intercultural Studies,
Fuller Theological Seminary

In this book, one hears the voice of the prophet urgently calling for radical renewal of the church. Dr Mamo casts a vision for a revitalized Christian movement that starts with deep conversion. Drawing on his experience as a leader in the Ethiopian church, he flags the danger of the kind of rapid growth, which the Ethiopian churches have experienced in the past three decades. The test of genuine conversion is discipleship that is expressed in disciple-making. This is the challenge that must be sounded afresh in every generation.

Wilbert R. Shenk, PhD
Senior Professor of Mission History and Contemporary Culture,
Fuller Graduate School of Intercultural Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. List of Figures
  4. List of Abbreviations
  5. List of Abbreviations
  6. My Personal Discipleship Journey: Saved and Discipled
  7. Introduction
  8. 1 – The Need for an Integrated Approach
    1. Members not Disciples
    2. Culture Hostile to Discipleship
    3. Diminishing Community Influence
    4. Incomplete Mission
    5. The Need for an Integrative Approach
  9. 2 – Biblical and Theological Foundations for Discipleship
    1. Discipleship – the Meaning
    2. Who Is a Disciple?
    3. Making Disciples
    4. Commanded by Christ
    5. Modeled by Christ
    6. Discipleship: Backbone to Mission
    7. Mission as Imitating Christ in Discipleship
  10. 3 – Integrating Conversion, Rituals and Community
    1. Contextualization and Discipleship
    2. Conversion: The Entry Point to the Discipleship Journey
    3. Different Perspectives on Conversion
    4. Different Approaches to Conversion
    5. Contextualization of Conversion
  11. 4 – Rituals Intensify the Discipleship Journey
    1. Contextualizing Rituals for Discipleship
    2. Baptism Contextualized
    3. Culture Change and Rituals
    4. Community: Seedbed of Discipleship
    5. The Need for Community
  12. 5 – Reflection on the Ethiopian Evangelical Context
    1. Historical Background of Ethiopian Evangelical Churches
    2. Western Ethiopian Stream
      1. The Social Context of the West
      2. The Lutheran Mission Work
      3. Conversion, Ritual and Community
    3. The Southern Ethiopia Stream
      1. Social Context of the South
      2. SIM Missionary Work
      3. Conversion, Rituals and Community
    4. The Urban Pentecostal Stream
      1. The Social Context
      2. Conversion, Rituals and Community Formation in the Pentecostal Movement
    5. Analysis of the Evangelical Beginnings in Ethiopia
    6. Missed Opportunities
    7. Persecution-Shaped Discipleship
    8. The Current Crisis in Ethiopian Evangelical Churches
    9. ECFE Mission Survey Results
    10. Theological Students’ Evaluation of the Church
    11. Warning Signs
    12. The Leaders Respond
  13. 6 – Strategies for Effective Contextualized Discipleship
    1. Christian Education for Discipleship
    2. Church Structure for Discipleship
    3. Church Culture of Discipleship
  14. 7 – Discipleship, Mission and the Future of the Church
  15. References

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