Over the last decade or so, “missional” has become one of the catch words within popular Christian circles. It is, in fact, one of the core values of group life at PV: relational, transformational, missional. However, without a proper understanding of what that means we run the risk of it becoming just that—a catchy word thrown around with little influence on how we pursue God and that which He is passionate about. For a large segment of the Church today, missions has become an add-on–a secondary function of what we do. It’s been treated as an optional program for some to participate in, if they choose. I have to confess I’ve been guilty of such faulty thinking. But the reality is: it’s anything but that! Mission is an integral part of God’s being, not some secondary characteristic! It’s the heart of the very existence of the Church and we cannot be anything other than missionary.
If the mission of God is the redemption of his creation, then the church is not merely the agent of that mission, it is also proof that he is not yet finished working—evidence of the ever expanding nature of God’s Kingdom. And implicit in the mission of God is the idea of sending, or being sent.
It was this missionary God who sent his Son—the central figure in God’s mission to redeem his creation. (John 5:16-30; 8:42; 1 Jn. 4:14; Col. 1:15-20)
The Father and Son sent the Spirit—the empowerment to carry out God’s mission. (Mk. 13:11; Luke 11:13; John 14, 16)
The Son sends the church into the world—the continuation of Christ’s mission; the agents of the Gospel. (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8)
Because mission is an integral part of God’s being, not a secondary characteristic, we must never treat it as an optional extra or add-on. The church cannot be anything other than missionary. Mission is not just what we do, but who we are! Your community group is really a microcosm of the church and therefore you play an essential role in helping your group members see their identity reflected in us engaging in God’s bigger mission—the redemption of his creation. As a local church, we have a number of both national and international partners who are engaging in God’s mission. We encourage you to identify an appropriate place for your group to plug into the mission globally. You had the opportunity to meet a number of them at our October Leader’s Roundtable, where Tim also shared the following filter to help you decide the appropriate partnership for your group.
- Kingdom Passion
- Spiritual Giftedness
- Mutual Experiences
- General Life-stage
- Spiritual Maturity
* Be patient, large PDF file.