The Mission of the Church: Being Missional
Lesslie Newbigin writes, “the mission of the church is the radioactive fallout of an explosion of joy” (The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989, 127). Lesslie’s image illustrates that mission is the spontaneous outcome of a people transformed and joy-filled by Jesus Christ. This redefines the mission of the church. Mission is no longer another duty to be completed outside of our pews-rather mission becomes the passionate overflow of a community following Jesus.
Newbigin notes that the local church, a congregation of men and women who believe the gospel and live by it, is the only hermeneutic that makes the gospel credible (227). The local church, you serve, or attend, is vital for the advancement of the kingdom. Your church, full of mystery and messiness, is that credible hermeneutic. Your church, full of wonderful people and some irritating saints, is a key vehicle used by the Lord to do good in the world and bring blessing. Never underestimate the wonder of your work in the church, and in the world.