What is Mission?

The word Mission tends to be interpreted in different ways and its meaning has changed and developed within the life of the Methodist Church over the years. In the past Mission was frequently associated in particular with two aspects of the Church's work. • A special evangelistic campaign which was part of the ongoing work in the life of the local church. • The Overseas or Foreign Mission of the Church which was always understood as that which happened in far away countries. Such understandings had their value but Mission is a much wider concept than both of these. Christian Mission always needs to be expressed within the wider world context and this includes a commitment to the World Church in a spirit of sharing and receiving, both „here and there'. John Wesley led the way for Methodist people and others when he declared that – ‘The World is my Parish.' There are two basic foundations to Mission: The first is the Mission of God and the second is the Mission of the Church . ( Mission in Today's World , Donald Dorr) St Mark's Gospel tells us that Jesus Christ began his three year ministry when he appeared in Galilee proclaiming the Good News of God. He announced that the Kingdom of God is near and all must repent and believe in the Gospel. For Jesus this was the beginning of his earthly Mission. The starting point is to acknowledge the reign of God over all. Then comes the challenge to capture a „ Vision of God's Kingdom ' as it is on earth and in heaven, to paraphrase familiar words from the Lord's Prayer. The priority which follows this is to proclaim, promote and live by the „ Kingdom Values '. Such Values are – Salvation , truth, love, justice, peace, righteousness and goodness along with both recognising and valuing the worth, dignity and human rights of all people. To maintain these „Kingdom Values' means establishing and upholding certain spiritual pillars within the life of the local worshipping congregation. They are key to the outworking and promoting of Mission. Prayer , Bible Study, Witness, Service, Outreach and Fellowship: all of them empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The life of the church or congregation can become submerged in one of maintenance. Unity of heart and mind centred in Christ is the key. were marked by persecution and harsh restrictions regarding meeting for worship and proclaiming the Gospel to others. or else just a comfort zone for the „faithful' who meet behind the walls of the building. the nature of our relationship with God and others. The witness of individual Christians among their friends and neighbours. The early centuries of the Church. Along with this comes commitment and a resolve to promote that Mission in everyday work and witness. have produced impressive Mission Statements. These are not only declarations about their Mission and purpose but an attempt to both grasp and pursue a vision for the future. all of which must come together in the daily life of the church. Mission involves the building up of the church . local and national. The experience of Christ which people find through „Fresh Expressions of Church' is often just as real and meaningful as that of those who belong to established congregations. Notably first on the list was the quality of the pastoral care provided by the local church. The great test is to enable such statements to be not just words but also a programme of action. Mission also means an openness to ecumenism. an unconditional welcome for all.A commitment to such pillars involves a list of qualities which can be summed up as – Pastoral Care . In recent years many churches. Some years ago the Methodist Church in Britain undertook a survey as an attempt to discover the 12 main reasons why churches grow numerically. Regrettably a vision for Mission remains only a vision in some churches. It means having a willingness of heart and mind to hear God's call to go where people are in their everyday place. a spirit of openness. It is striking that the continuing growth of the Church then was based largely on two activities undertaken by the threatened Christian community: 1. „Fresh Expressions of Church' is a present day vision and programme for enabling Mission. Those who are enabled to meet with Christ through such a Mission may choose not to come into the life of the traditional church. 2. the enabling of Leadership in the church. The mutual caring within Christian groups and their social outreach into the community. . The working out of such a Mission will indeed mean doing things differently and being open to change. Then by the power of the Holy Spirit to discover together what is church in that situation and how might it be expressed and maintained in a creative and meaningful way. Congregations need to be willing to accept this and recognise that by God's power Mission can take place anywhere at any time. following the missionary endeavour of St Paul and the Apostles. helping people to find a faith for living . people of other faiths or of none. creativity and flexibility.

calling sinners to turn to Christ in repentance and faith. (1 Peter 3:15-16). that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. that they who live should no longer live for themselves. . coworkers. “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. all Christians have the mission to share Christ on the home field with family. The Christian mission of sharing Christ does not end with a sinner‟s salvation. Christians are responsible to understand the Gospel and have a strong relationship with Christ. and relying on Christ. Instead of countries. While believers should faithfully support those who go to the unreached. All Christians. Instead. He works through us. Read more: http://www. Specifically. Whom do we tell? Jesus made it clear that Christians are to reach out to “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). however. teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. having concluded this. . Christian missions involves not only evangelism but also discipleship. but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.Question: "What is Christian Missions?" Answer: Christian missions is following Christ‟s call: sharing the Gospel with the lost world through God‟s wisdom and strength. Christian missions is sharing Christ Our mission is proclaiming Christ as the only way to abundant. that one died for all. He gives Christians the mission of reconciliation (Acts 1:8-9). those ethnic cultures without a Gospel witness. and desire to witness! Through our witness. . He gives us the wisdom. God sends missionaries through the support of the church to the unreached. We should fulfill our mission not out of duty but love: “For the love of Christ controls us. however. eternal life. Thus. the message of His redemption. have the mission of reconciliation. While our mission is sharing Christ. Christian missions. strength. and He died for all. Now all these things are from God. those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. I am with you always. Christian missions is relying on Christ Sharing the Gospel humbly. and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. sharing Christ. and the community.org/Christian-missions. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. and passionately is our Christian mission. and lo. boldly. In sum. always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.html#ixzz2PqORr63q . friends.gotquestions. and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21). But we cannot do it alone. He works repentance and faith in the sinner‟s heart (2 Corinthians 5:20-21). namely. God could convert everyone using a blinding light and the voice of Christ as He did with the apostle Paul. What greater mission can one answer? Recommended Resources: Logos Bible Software and Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper. who reconciled us to Himself through Christ. therefore all died. he was referring to people groups. but God uses it for good. Rather than a burden. Such a relationship guards them from hypocrisy. baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. yet with gentleness and reverence. is not limited to overseas ministry. Christian missions is obeying Christ After Christ‟s death and resurrection. Jesus assured that suffering would accompany missions. obeying His call brings joy and reward in heaven. He commanded the disciples to share the Gospel. and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered. Although it is God's work. Christian missions is obeying Christ. The Lord works through them to rescue the lost. the power and results come from the Lord. even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20). This Great Commission applies to Christians today. not counting their trespasses against them. The commission was to make disciples – not immature believers.