What is mission?
Scripture provides many examples of mission. It is important to examine these carefully as we seek to embody mission in our contemporary context. Confession of Faith in Mennonite Perspective reminds us: “The mission of the church involves both word and deed, evangelism and service, proclaiming Christ’s message and demonstrating, by the life of the church, the nature of the new creation in Christ” (Article 10, comment 2). The following scriptures, when read in connection with one another, preserve this important missional balance of word and deed.
- Mission is Being Sent
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” — John 20:21-22 (NIV)
- Mission is Making Disciples
Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18-20a (NIV)
- Mission is Bearing Witness
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” — Acts 1:8 (NIV)
- Mission is Bringing Reconciliation
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. — 2 Corinthians 5:19-20a (NIV)
- Mission is Transforming Brokenness
He found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” — Luke 4:17b-21 (NIV)