What Is the Mission of the Church
I’m going to take some time working my way through this book, taking it chapter by chapter, and posting my thoughts here.
The entier first chapter is spent trying to define the word “mission”. Part of the issue, according to the authors, is that mission “is not a biblical word” (17) But, they state mission implies two things: being sent and being given a task. (19) On this point, I agree with the authors. Mission is a hard word to define, especially when talking about the mission of the church.
They go on, “Some of what we want to correct is an overexpansive definition that understands mission to be just about every good thing a Christian could do as a partner with God in his mission to redeem the whole world.” (20) I think we need to tread very carefully here. Overexpansive comments like this one can discount one’s baptismal vocation in the world, making mission only possible inside the church walls. Now, to be fair, I do not think the authors are implying that. I’m merely saying we need to be careful and not be too dismissive. If one is fulfilling his or her vocational calling, are they not, in fact, doing the mission of the church?
Their argument is that the mission of the church can be summarized in the Great Commission passages (Matthew 26:16-20; Mark 13:10; 14:9: Luke 24-44-49, Acts 1:8). At this point, I cannot comment one way or the other on their thesis. More will come as I work my way thorough the book.