theology for a missionary church
another, exist in one another and for one another, in interdependent giving
Second, God is a missionary. We would not know God if the
Father had not sent the Son in the power of the Spirit.
In fact the mission of God (missio dei) itself expresses God's relational
The communion of the persons of the Trinity is not to be understood
as closed in on itself, but rather open in an outgoing movement of
generosity. Creation and redemption are the overflow of God's triune
The mission of God as creator, through Christ, in the Spirit, is to bring into
being, sustain and perfect the whole creation.
The mission of God as redeemer, through Christ, in the Spirit, is to restore
and reconcile the fallen creation (Colossians 1.20).
God's missionary purposes are cosmic in scope, concerned with the
restoration of all things, the establishment of shalom, the renewal of
creation and the coming of the Kingdom as well as the redemption
of fallen humanity and the building of the Church.
The Church is both the fruit of God's mission those whom he has
redeemed, and the agent of his mission the community through whom
he acts for the world's redemption. `The mission of the Church is the gift
of participating through the Holy Spirit in the Son's mission from the Father
to the world.'
It is therefore of the essence (the DNA) of the Church to be a missionary
community. `There is Church because there is mission, not vice versa.'
Apart from worship, everything else is secondary to this. This sets the
standard by which the Church tests all its activity.
It is not the Church of God that has a mission in the world,
but the God of mission who has a Church in the world.
Church planting should not, therefore, be church centred. It should not be
another device to perpetuate an institution for that institution's own sake.
It is to be an expression of the mission of God. `What is mission if not the
engagement with God in the entire enterprise of bringing the whole of
creation to its intended destiny? A local church cannot claim to be part
of this if it only serves itself.'
Mission comes from the Father, through the Son in the power of the Spirit.
The Son himself, through incarnation, atonement, resurrection and