Mission. It brings so many phrases to my mind: Military missions. A homeless mission. A mission trip. Local missions. Global missions. A corporate mission statement. Even evangelical church culture is catching on to the terminology. ”Mission” and “Missional” are now fashionable words (as is “community”) with churches that see the limited reach and depth in their current models of church. Churches large and small spanning across denominational lines are seeing the need to be “more mission focused” or “missional”, but what does it mean?
Mission does not begin with a mission statement, a program, a fad, a model of church, or a church growth agenda. Before the mission of the church (summarized in the Great Commission’s call to make disciples of Jesus Christ as we go) there was (and always will be) the Missio Dei: the mission of God. The one and only God who created the universe calls us to participate in HIS mission: creation, redemption, recreation. A movement of holy love from God to rescue humanity. The sending love of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit propels us to incarnate the Gospel with our lives in the places we find ourselves. Our mission field is all around us.
Mission isn’t about a specialized ministry that a pastor does in the church or a short-term trip to an exotic part of the world. Mission is about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. If there is a “priesthood of all believers” then certainly why not a “missionhood” of all believers. Making disciples and mission are like peanut butter and jelly: they were meant to go together. The Anglican Mission has a saying , “everyone has a mission.” We all are called into the mission of God in a particular context. What area of town do you have a burden for? Do you desire a certain network of people to come to know Jesus? Do you want to see marriages healed, drunks delivered, the poor fed, single moms and widows cared for, young men find purpose and meaning, or some other context that you can incarnate (be like Jesus to)? The good news is that we are not alone in mission! We have the Holy Spirit guiding us, comforting us, empowering us. And we have each other, the Church – TOGETHER participating, resourcing, networking, and supporting each other in mission.
Follow up Questions:
- What are examples of “mission” in the Bible?
- How do Discipleship and Mission relate to one another?
- What are some mission contexts that you would like to reach in Medina County? What are you going to do about it?