The Mission of the Church.
The famous Missiologist David Bosch claimed that because the mission of the Church is so broad, it's almost impossible to specifically define the mission of the Church in one phrase.
After establishing this Bosch reasoned, based on history, that the mission is an, “expression of the dynamic relationship between God and the world, particularly as this was portrayed, first, in the story of the covenant people of Israel and then, supremely, in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth.” In other words, the mission of the Church comes out from the covenant relationship between the Creator and His people. What this means is that the mission of the Church very broad and therefore undefinable in one phrase.
If Bosch is right, then how do we as the Church find a common purpose on which to base our decisions off?
enjoy reading articles on a wide range of topics. Another church leader in history who I find helpful when talking about the mission of the Church is Bill Hybels. While I disagree with some of the angles he takes on some topics, his teachings on vision and mission are very helpful. Hybels claims that mission and vision are different ideas. Mission is a
Another Church leader in history is Bill Hybels. While I disagree on some of the angles Hybels takes on some topics, I do see the universal truth in his teachings on vision and mission. Hybels claims thar, "ometimes people think mission and vision are the same thing. They are two distinct pieces of a team or organization’s guiding framework.
Mission is a simple statement of what you do. It is your core competence.
Generally, your mission doesn’t change over time.
Vision is a future-oriented, challenging, and exciting stat
Having quoted Bosch, I want to do what Bosch said we cannot do and that is to define the mission of the Church into one phrase.
What does the Bible say about the Mission of the Church?
If we take the Bible seriously, then we will find that the mission of the world wide Church can be described by saying that it's to know God and make Him known - this is the essence of our mission (Matthew 9:37-38, Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 24:46-48, Luke 9:1, Mark 16:17-18, Acts 1:8, Acts 4:20, John 15:8, Colossians 1:9, John 17:3, Proverbs 2:1-6, 1 John 4:8, and Philippians 3).
I say, "if" because many of us don’t take all 66 books of the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation seriously. We think that it’s a book about rules, or a book that has been changed so many times that we it can’t be accurate. Some even claim it to be a book about myths and other irrelevant work. I humbly suggest to you that the Bible is rather a book about the Creator and His ways. If we use the Bible as a reference source, we will discover that the mission God has given His people the church is to know Him and be His ambassadors (Luke 12:31 and 2 Corinthians 5:20).
If the essence of the mission is to know God and make Him known, then the essence of knowing God is to spend time and other resources getting to know who God really is. We ask questions such as, who is God? How can I know God? Why has God done such and such? Etc (Exodus 3:13, Matthew 7:7-11 and Habakkuk 1:2-3). We find these answers when we read books, talk to trusted friends and pray. However, may we never forget that the answers to these questions will always be found in the three main places God has chosen to reveal Himself. They are the natural world (Psalm 19:1), a gathering of Christian believers (Matthew 18:20) and the Holy Scriptures, that is the Christian Bible (Genesis 1:1).
* If we are unsure about the trustworthiness and authority of the Bible, we should spend time discovering the facts that support this claim. This is part of the mission.
If the essence of the mission is to know God and make Him known, and the essence of knowing God is to spend time and other resources getting to know who God really is, then the essence of being His ambassador can be described as the bearing of fruit (John 15:16 and Matthew 13). This metaphor is helpful in describing the life of a Christian. Bearing fruit means to have the produce of the knowledge of God manifest in our lives. This includes, speaking the gospel message to people ( ), praying for people to be healed of sicknesses ( ), hosting people in our homes ( ), forgiving those who have done us wrong ( ), submitting to others ( ), being humble ( ), loving ( ), and so on the list goes. It means to reflect God to the world around us.
What do other people say about the Mission of the Church?
s an “expression of the dynamic relationship between God and the world, particularly as this was portrayed, first, in the story of the covenant people of Israel and then, supremely, in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth.”
In the introduction, Bosch offers in three pages and thirteen brief statements an excellent overview of the breadth of Christian mission. Part 1 considers New Testament Models of Mission, demonstrating how the New Testament is a missionary document, with specific chapters on Matthew, Luke-Acts, and the Pauline letters. Part 2 considers how Christians in various periods of history have interpreted and carried out their mission. He adapts Hans Kung’s division of the history of Christianity into six major paradigms – Primitive (biblical), Hellenistic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Enlightenment, and Emerging/Ecumenical. He shows how each of these not only represents a paradigm shift in theology, but also in missiology. Part 3 is reserved for the Emerging/Ecumenical paradigm. Here he discusses the various dimensions of mission as expressed in the postmodern era. This includes very balanced discussions of concepts like Missio Dei, evangelism, justice, contextualization, ecumenism, etc.
Mission is, quite simply, the participation of Christians in the liberating mission of Jesus, wagering on a future that verifiable experience seems to believe. It is the good news of God’s love, incarnated in the witness of a community, for the sake of the world” P.519
However, the underlying argument tends towards agnosticism about the possibility of an agreed meaning for the word and concept of mission. This is explicit early in the book:
“Ultimately, mission remains indefinable. . . . The most we can hope for is to formulate some approximations of what mission is all about.” P.9
First, he argues that the Bible itself does not offer a single mission theology but several, and he distinguishes the approaches of Jesus, Matthew, Luke-Acts, and Paul. Consequently he suggests that it is impossible to build a single biblical theology of mission on which to base contemporary practice. There is a lot of debate whether that is right or wrong but I would view that as a caution when reading this book.
Bosch’s approach has been influential, but it moves towards a relativist and subjectivist approach to mission. This is essentially due to his pessimism about the possibility of a unified biblical theology of mission. However, while the diversity of the biblical testimony cannot be disputed, but by having a sceptic view about the basic unity of its witness, either with respect to mission or anything else. You could argue that the Bible offers a fundamentally unified picture of the mission of a God who, from Adam’s first act of sin, pursues rebellious people to redeem a people, a purpose whose realization is portrayed in John’s vision of “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb”(Rev 7:9). That mission he now carries out through his church as it makes disciples of Jesus Christ.
“The church is seen as essentially missionary.”
“The church is not the sender but the one sent. Its mission (its “being sent”) is not secondary to its being; the church exists in being sent and in building up itself for the sake of its mission.”
“Ecclesiology therefore does not precede missiology.”
“Missionary activity is not so much the work of the church as simply the Church at work.”
“Since God is a missionary God, God’s people are a missionary people.”
“It has become impossible to talk about the church without at the same time talking about mission. One can no longer talk about church and mission, only about the mission of the church.”
“A Church without mission or a mission without the church are both contradictions.”
“The church is both missionary and missionizing.”
“The missionary dimension of a local church’s life manifests itself, among other ways, when it is truly a worshipping community; it is able to welcome outsiders and make them feel at home; it is a church in which the pastor does not have the monopoly and the members are not merely objects of pastoral care; its members are equipped for their calling in society; it is structurally pliable and innovative; and it does not defend the privileges of a select group. However, the church’s missionary dimension evokes intentional, that is direct involvement in society; it actually moves beyond the walls of the church and engages in missionary ‘points of concentration’ such as evangelism and work for justice and peace.”
Fritz Cherry from Bible Reasons.com claims that the Mission of missionaries is to, As missionaries, we are building up the bride of Christ in another country so she can become stronger and better equip others.
God Questions,org claims that the mission fo the Churhc is to, "1. The mission of the church is to make disciples.... 2. The mission of the church is to glorify Christ... 3. The mission of the church is to build up the saints. ...
Tim Keller on Christiniatytoday.com claims that the mission fo the Churhc is to, "While the mission of the institutional church is to preach the Word and produce disciples, the church must disciple Christians in such a way that they live justly and integrate their faith with their work. So the church doesn't directly change culture, but it disciples and supports people who do. Another balance has to do with society's cultural institutions. Rather than taking them over, or avoiding them as a corrupting influence, or treating them with indifference---Christians are to be a faithful presence within them...
Steven Cole on Bible.ord says that it's. "The church’s mission is to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel to the lost and making Christlike disciples who make Christlike disciples.
Trevin wx on the Gospelcoalition.org claims that it;s, "The church is a sign and instrument of the kingdom of God, a people united by faith in the gospel announcement of the crucified and risen King Jesus. The mission of the church is to go into the world in the power of the Spirit and make disciples by proclaiming this gospel, calling people to respond in ongoing repentance and faith, and demonstrating the truth and power of the gospel by living under the lordship of Christ for the glory of God and the good of the world.
Dle Robbins from Vicorius,org says that it;s " To proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and make disciples of all kinds of people ... to manifest the presence and love of Jesus ... To mature believers and prepare them to perform works of ministry ... To represent the interests of the Kingdom of God in the world, and to influence our society with the ideals of the Lord. ...
Kevin De young on DesiringGod.org says that the mission of the Church is to, "The mission of the church is to go into the world and make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit, gathering these disciples into churches that they may worship and obey Jesus now and into eternity to the glory of God the Father.:
Charles SPuregon on spurgeon.org claimed that the preaching of the gosple is a priority in the mission of the Churhc. He said, " “The greatest help that can be given to any people, is the preaching of the gospel.”
“The mission of the church is to go into all the world…and tell out the gospel to every creature.”
“The great end and aim of Home Missions is to testify the gospel to every soul.”
“There will be oppression unless the gospel is spread. This is the one balm for all earth’s wounds.”
"Keep to the gospel, brethren, and you will keep to the one universal, never-failing remedy.”