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The purpose of this doctoral project will be to provide missional-minded church leaders in the Christian Reformed Church in Canada with principles to create environments in which their churches’ members grow in becoming active agents for Christ in their own communities of home, work or recreation. The Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA), founded in Canada by Dutch immigrants, remained isolated and insular for most of its history. Despite its rich heritage of reaching out both at home and abroad through evangelical and diaconal ministries, its theological doctrines, beliefs and practices purported a posture of defensiveness against the culture, including other denominations. Canada is saturated with secular values and ideals that either promote Christians to withdraw into their own isolated communities of faith, or to adopt the cultural norms which diminish their effectiveness in bearing witness to Christ’s invitation to “have life, and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10).1 A missional imagination is needed to create environments for Christians in which to flourish as active agents of Christ promoting a content and harmonious life with God and with neighbors.

This project paper will name several key theological principles and strategic principles to be implemented for the purpose of creating environments for missional engagement. Maranatha Church will be utilized to provide examples of how these principles can be deployed. The paper will also propose future endeavours that will continue the trajectory of deepening the engagement practices within missional environments. The goal of the Christian life is to be on mission with God.

Content Reader: Bob Whitesel, D.Min. Ph.D.


1 All Scripture quoted is from the New International Version.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Whitesel, Robert

Document Type





Christian Reformed Church in Canada; Christian Reformed Church in Canada; Maranatha Christian Reformed Church (Montgomery, Alta.); Missional church movement; Church renewal; Church and the world


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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