Monday, November 5, 2012

defining mission


"Mission is the practical expression, whether by speech or by action, of the glorious lordship of Jesus.  It is where we get to create little foretastes of of the kingdom of Jesus, which has come and is still yet to fully come.  If in that kingdom-to-come there will be no unbelief, then the church's mission is to create such a foretaste by commending belief to all.  If in the kingdom-to-come there will be no injustice, the church's mission will be to work to eliminate injustice here and now.  If in the kingdom-to-come there is no grief, no mourning, no suffering, the church's mission is to overcome such things today.  Mission, then, is an expression of worship, for it too involves offering our world back to God." (p164,5 The Faith of Leap - Frost & Hirsch)

There is no doubt that "becoming missional" is a topical desire and discussion in the context of local church.  In light of the risk and reality of this discussion falling into the overflowing waste paper basket of church fads, concrete outcomes of this discussion are desperately needed.

This year I have found myself around the leadership table in my own local church context, and "becoming missional" has been the dominant flavour of conversation.  Now we are faced with the need for tangible expression and vision casting - and the need to define what we mean by mission.  Simply.  Biblically.  Transferably.

After a long journey in thinking through the theology of God's mission, and some inspiration from the above quote (and others), I've landed on something I hope might equip our people well ...  

"mission is any activity (in word or deed) which reflects the heart of God to people"

My hope is that this might help us discern how God is already working around us,  broaden our imagination of what missional activity looks like, and will cause our activity to meaningfully intersect with the desperate brokenness of our world.



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