Go Where God Is Not At Work

Work

Work! by Billy Wilson on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Eddie Arthur challenges the popular notion that mission is ‘finding out what God is doing and joining in’.

What do you think about this?

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God’s Family On Mission

Trinity

Trinity by Stephen Cuyos on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

It’s not just the Mission Of God (‘Missio Dei’, as we often hear) but the Mission Of The Trinity (‘Missio Trinitatis’). God isfamily, and Jesus in the Incarnation comes on family business. So too must we be God’s family on mission, not just individuals. That’s what Mike Breen says here. (One or two long words, but hopefully you get the gist.)

What Is Mission?

John Stott

John Stott by Brett Jordan on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0 licence.

The late John Stott once wrote,

Mission is everything the church is sent into the world to do.

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams by Chris John Beckett on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

Others, such as Rowan Williams, have put the stress on God’s initiative, which we follow:

Mission is finding out what God is doing and joining in.

Either way, mission is a big word. It includes evangelism, social justice, healing, concern for the environment and other elements.

How do we hold these elements together? Some organisations, such as Hope Together, encourage local churches to practise both evangelism and social justice as part of their mission witness. Tear Fund, known primarily as a Christian relief and development agency, actually believes in what it calls ‘integral mission‘, in which they seek to meet both material and spiritual needs.

How do you think we should respond to this in the church? Should everyone support all aspects of mission? Is it OK for some to emphasise evangelism, and others to stress social justice? There are some Christian organisations solely devoted to evangelism, and others (such as Christian Aid) who are purely committed to relief, development and campaigning.

How might this work out in your life, and in your church?