God's Mission Has a Church
Any evangelical church has a number of important functions it should value: preaching, groups, care, equipping, etc. (All of these are important!) Oftentimes, "missions" is tacked on here, as just one more "department" that should be included under the umbrella of local church leadership.
Now, I'm glad Brookside has staff leadership devoted to our Impact Ministries (Global Impact and Community Impact). But that doesn't mean the rest of us - those of us that aren't directly involved in a Go Team or serving specifically within Impact Ministries - are off the hook. That's because, fully appreciated, "missions" is not just one more department of a church, but mission is part of the very identity of the church - something that should weave its way throughout the life of the church.
I love how Gregg Allison (leaning on Jurgen Moltmann) helps articulate this:
..Moltmann emphasizes the importance of understanding 'not that the church "has" a mission, but the very reverse: that the mission of Christ creates its own church. Mission does not come from the church; it is from mission and in light of mission that the church has come to be understood.' This notion contrasts with missions being seen more as an activity of the church rather than in terms of the church's essential image of itself. 'The fundamental point is that missions is not peripheral or additional for the church. The fact that it has been sent is of its essential nature, so much so that the sending is implicitly and explicitly formative in all aspects of its life - its worship, it's koinonia, its engagements, its witness, its birthing of new communities, its sociopolitical engagements, its compassion and mercy."
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