I’ve been doing some thinking about the question, “What is the mission of the church?” This is a complicated issue, to be sure, but whenever I’m pastoring, I want to be able to lead my people to faithfully fulfill the purpose for which God has redeemed us.
As I’ve started thinking through this a little, I thought I’d post a few thoughts and get some feedback. This particular post has less to do with the church as a whole and more to do with individuals. I think that any way you look at it, asking what the mission of the universal Church is inevitably leads us back to the individual. God has a purpose for the universal Church, to be sure, and he will accomplish those purposes, but identifying her purpose is not the same thing as identifying her mission.
However, since the universal church is nothing more than the sum total of all individual Christians, can we, by looking at what Scripture tells us is the mission of the individual, infer what the mission of the Church (universal) is? (The next step is then to ask how these relate to the mission of the local church, but that’ll be for another day)
What is the mission of the Christian?
So, the question at hand is “What is the mission of the Christian?” And the answer I would give to that is something like this:
- [a] to grow into a mature disciple of Christ (holiness, doctrine, affections),
- [b] to live as a mature disciple of Christ (proclaiming the kingdom in both word and deed), and
- [c] to make disciples of Christ
Yes, I know. They’re all connected. You can’t grow into a mature disciple that doesn’t “do,” and you can’t just “do” without having the right heart and doctrine behind you’re “doing.” Likewise, you can’t consider yourself to be mature if you are not reproducing yourself in other disciples, nor can you reproduce yourself if you are not yourself mature in both the [a] & [b] senses.
So, what do you think? What’s good? What needs to be added or taken away? I appreciate your feedback.
[Note: By “mission” here, I do not necessarily mean “chief end,” as in ‘to glorify God and enjoy him forever,’ or that type of thing. I’m more talking about what Christians are to be doing. If it would make you feel better though, you are welcome to add “To glorify God by growing…living…making…” I’m down with that.]