Monday, June 15, 2009

Summary: Is Your Theology of Mission the Same as God's?

You have a ‘theology of Mission’ whether you know it or not. All of your missionary strategies reflect this theology. In fact, much of your life may be a reflection of this theology. It drives your passion (or lack thereof), your motives, strategies, methods, use of money and resources, time usage, etc.

Bob goes to church every time the doors are open. He hears about missions frequently, but doesn’t feel motivated to get involved. In fact, it isn’t any more exciting than the “Feed the Children” type commercials that are always played while he tries to eat.
What’s his problem? A bad theology of Mission. You see, as far as Bob can tell, missions is carried out for man, not God.
Carl would like to be more involved in missions, but it seems much too difficult. Lost people are so hard. The work is too complicated. He doesn’t feel equipped for such a task.
What’s wrong? His theology of Mission is off. He sees the Mission as something he must carry out. It is his Mission instead of God’s. But God is doing the work. He wants to do it through Carl.
Dean is a supporter of missions. One day he goes on the Joshua Project website and is shocked to see that there are still 6,500 people groups that are unreached, with little or no access to the Gospel.
He can’t figure out why, since we’ve been doing this ‘missions thing’ so long. The answer is this: we have been using a defective theology of Mission. Our theology ignored a major goal of God’s Mission: reaching every people group. He wants to obtain worshippers from every group of people, not just a random bunch of people.
These are just a few examples of how our theology of Mission can affect us. Look at your own life now. What kind of theology of Mission does it reflect?

Over the past month I have attempted to lay a theological foundation for our involvement in God’s Mission. I wanted to summarize them here.

Who’s Mission Is It?

The Mission is God’s. It is bigger than individuals and churches. Missions is the movement of God through churches. The church is not reaching out to the nations, as much as God is reaching out through her. What does this do for us? It replaces our passion with His, our resources with His, our vision with His, our power with His, our agenda with His. We are tools. He is the actor.

The Purpose of the Mission of God

Our focus in missions is usually on the people being reached. As important as that is, it is secondary. Our Mission should be the same as God’s. The Mission of God is to get glory to Himself by redeeming to Himself a people out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation who will worship Him in loving obedience throughout eternity. Is seeing God glorified among the nations our primary purpose? If not, our Mission motives are skewed, and our passion will be lacking.

The Object of Mission

Who is God trying to reach? It is more than just a random bunch of people. It is people from every people group. He is trying to reach (through His churches) every person and every people. If we are ignoring whole people groups (as we are) in the pursuit of a random bunch of people, we are forsaking one of the primary objects of God’s Mission (and failing to reach a maximum number of people in the process).

The Mission is God’s, we are mere tools. His Mission is to get glory to Himself by redeeming the maximum number of people from every group of people on the planet. That is God’s theology of Mission. What is yours?

Much of the future of this blog will be an application of these truths.

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