Our God is a missional God. Mission is part of God’s very nature. Consider these: When He created the world, He did not create a static paradise, but one that would be fruitful and grow. Ever since mankind disobeyed Him, our God has been on a mission to draw us back to Himself. In that mission, God appointed leaders, prophets, priests and kings to guide His people and show them who He is.
The climax of that mission centres around the work of Jesus Christ – God the Father sending God the Son into the world to live and to die so that all things might be reconciled to Him. After Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit was sent into the lives of disciples. As Christ-indwelt, Spirit-empowered disciples, we are sent into various spheres of life to bring the message of reconciliation to all. Meanwhile we await the return of King Jesus and the completion of God’s mission which He initiated from ages past.
David Bosch, in his book Transforming Mission (p.390) puts it this way: “Mission is thereby seen as a movement from God to the world; the church is viewed as an instrument for that mission. There is church because there is mission, not vice versa. To participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God’s love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love.”
How shall we define God’s mission? In a sense, it is the entirety of the Bible – the grand biblical storyline from creation to new creation. That’s big. The gospel is far more radical, more inclusive, more compelling, more relevant, more transformational than we think.
But perhaps we may summarize our part in this way: Mission is our participation in the divine initiative of God to announce the good news of the grand story – the Kingdom of God made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, resulting in the healing and reconciliation of all things in heaven and on earth through Christ, to the praise and glory of God.
Whether you are a pastor or a full-time homemaker, a student or a retiree, living locally or serving cross-culturally, working as a lawyer or artist or engineer or writer or politician or construction worker, you are called to be an ambassador of the Kingdom of God. You are called to bear the gospel to all of creation. You are called to participate in God’s mission.
For some, it may mean serving God in a foreign land. For most of us, it means faithful living wherever we are placed – in the home, amongst friends, in schools and workplaces. For all of us, it means we start right here, right now. To be a Christian, is to be joined to God’s mission, which has now become ours too.