THE CHURCH AND MISSION
Dr. David Bauer and Dr. Denny Wayman
The recent tendency to use the word “missional” to divide the church’s inward and outward responsibilities is true neither to the Church’s nature nor its God-given mission. Mission is the very essence of the Church’s existence. Mission is not something the Church does. Mission is what the Church is. Mission encapsulates the Church’s entire life. This Church’s existence — its mission — is made possible by the calling of God. Indeed, God’s calling brings the Church into existence and directs its life. The Church’s mission is its response to the calling of God.
The Church lives out its mission first in relation to God. Its primary stance toward God is vital relationship with God, expressed especially through worship and submission. Yet the Church’s relationship to God inevitably involves its relation to itself and to the world. In its relation to itself, the Church cares for its own; it lovingly embraces and nurtures those within its fold. In its relation to the world, the Church —by the Holy Spirit’s power — witnesses to God’s end-time rule that has come in Jesus Christ and is about to be consummated by Christ at His appearing. This witness is active proclamation, which will be expressed through sacrificial service in Jesus Christ’s name to the needs of all those within the world. This witness will be formally expressed through the verbal announcement of the gospel of Jesus Christ in preaching and teaching.
All the Church does expresses mission.