Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Global Studies (MAGS)


Fred H Smith


first-century Church, missions, Moravian Church, Zinzendorf


Christianity | History of Christianity | History of Religion | Missions and World Christianity | Religion


This qualitative thesis study, “A Message From Antioch and Moravia to the West,” explores the North American Church’s role in the global missions arena and seeks to develop a streamlined strategy for engaging in cross-cultural evangelism in the twenty-first century. A qualitative case study of the first-century Christian church and Moravian church of the eighteenth century provides data on actions conducted to spread Christianity from a central geographical location outward to the known world in their respective eras of Christian history. These two case study analyses looked at how the Gospel was spread during each point in history followed by a summation of parallel efforts between the two churches. An analysis of the data obtained from the two case studies showed parallel characteristics between the two church’s missions models to include fledgling Christian communities facing periods of persecution, reformations against a dominant religious power, direct intercession from the Holy Spirit, the need for strong leadership to cast a missions vision, complete congregational participation, the urgency to take the Gospel to the lost, and the use of tentmaking or vocational evangelism. The identified themes that were present from the first-century and Moravian churches can provide strategies for the North American Church on how to conduct global missions by creating a unified strategy that can be implemented by the local church in light of today’s myriad of approaches to conducting missions. Additionally, an analysis of the current state of the North American church showed that as a whole, the North American church is in a decline in overall attendance and missions efforts. Based off of current church struggles, what is needed in today’s church is an effective cross-cultural missions strategy as the local church’s role in missions varies from nonexistent to actively planting churches within unreached people groups. Ultimately, a missions strategy can be developed by looking back into the history of the first-century and Moravian churches.