Dearly beloveds in the Missional God,
“Real Christians revel in desperate ventures for Christ, expecting from God great things and attempting the same with exhilaration.” CT Studd (Missionary served in China)
We are celebrating first Sunday of June as Mission Sunday. What is a mission? Sending someone forth with a specific task or to represent the interest of the sender or to hand deliver the message of the sender. The word ‘Mission’ does not have any direct specification in the Bible. This word is originally from the Latin word ‘mitto’ which is in turn translated as ‘apostello’ in Greek as ‘to send’. The earliest occurrence of this word is seen in Oxford dictionary in 1598 and in 1729. The use of this word has a direct bearing with Jesus’ commission to his disciples; Mt: 28:18-20 – Make disciples, go, baptize, teach, all nations, Mk.16:15, 19-20 – Be witnesses, spread the gospel, preach the word to all the nations, Lk.24:46-49 – power, witness, preach, all the nations, Jn.17:13-20, 20:21-23 – sanctification through word, protection, sending, praying Acts 1:8 Promise of the Holy Spirit, witness.
One of the powerful theologians Karl Barth, came with the idea that God is using the ‘mission’ or ‘missions’ for the work of God. ‘Mission’ is what God’s church is doing to bring lost men to Christ and into local churches, the chosen one. ‘Missions’ is the various activities of the church which result in reaching the lost with the gospel, discipling them and forming worships as well as fellowships. The Bible is HIS Story of God’s mission in the world to reveal His glory to men. Sometimes these two words can be used interchangeably. Note that the word ‘missions’ are used to refer to the Christians and the Church’s responsibility within the overarching mission which God is carrying out in the world. The singular word, ‘mission’ is a good concept but should not be allowed to make our responsibilities towards the lost humanity be forgotten. Missions is the work of the Church and each believer in communicating the good news of Church’s ministry so that humans can find forgiveness of personal sin and become obedient disciples in a local church. Mission is the overall work of God in history and throughout the world to reveal himself and to accomplish his ultimate will.
According to David J Bosch, ‘Mission’ is ‘Missio Dei’ (God’s mission) which means “God’s self-revelation as the one who loves the world, God’s involvement in and with the world, the nature and the activity of God which embraces both Church and the world in which the Church is privileged to participate.” Mission is what God is doing to the world. The question we must raise is does God work only through the church or outside the church? We cannot limit ‘missio dei’ to one structure that is Church.
I praise God that our church is a role model to many churches. We started our mission inside the church and the missions outside. It is our responsibility to pray and support mission as well as missionaries. As William Carey said, we should expect great things from God and attempts great things for God.
Have a Blessed Mission Sunday!
In His Service Yours