God has a mission in the world, what is usually referred to as the missio Dei (the mission of God). In understanding the missio Dei, we find that God as a creating God also creates the church through the Spirit, who calls, gathers, and sends the church into the world to participate in God's mission. This participation is based on the redemption that God accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a redemption that was announced by Jesus as the "kingdom of God" (which I prefer to re-frame as the "redemptive reign of God in Christ"). This redemptive reign of God in Christ is inherently connected to the missio Dei, which means that God is seeking to bring back into right relationship all of creation. Or as Paul put it in 2 Corinthians, "In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself" (5:19). The Spirit-led, missional church is responsible to participate in this reconciling work by bearing witness to the redemptive reign of God in Christ as good news, and through inviting everyone everywhere to become reconciled to the living and true God.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
What is the Missional Church?
From The Ministry of the Missional Church, by Craig Van Gelder (p.18).