Thursday, December 21, 2006

Missio Dei

Dr. Mark Young, a professor of missions at DTS, preached a four day message series in chapel in October called Mission Dei, or Mission of God, where he explored the idea that the foundational theological framework of the early church was missional. In other words, the apostles and early church fathers never considered the fact that Christianity would become a "state" religion, but rather that as missionaries of Jesus Christ, they were called to speak the truth of the gospel to a hostile world. The mission of God to bring worshipers to Himself from all peoples, tribes, and tongues through the message of Jesus was the central understanding behind their lifestyles and theology. In other words, if our churches and personal lives are not being lived on mission with God in the world, then we will get bogged down in internal debates among the troops and forget about the central biblical framework of the early church.

I see and feel this all the time as I interact with other pastors and lay people from other churches. The decision of church leadership to center the life of the local church around the mission of God changes everything that a church does. It impacts the way we spend money, the way we use our time, the way we raise our families. In other words, a church without a clear understanding of God's work in the world will end up wasting time and energy and money on their own agenda. Personally, I feel blessed to be in an environment where the leadership of the Hill Country Bible Church understands the mission of God and feels the weight of the immanent return of Jesus in how we respond to this mission. My prayer for all of us is that we will return to a missional theology that drives us to ask the right questions to engage a lost and hurting world and missional living that drives us to sacrifice our personal comfort for the glory of God.

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