Rev. Sam D. Stephens
The Mission of God
Leads with the gospel message- holistic- not just social relief. Otherwise if you provide for the social needs they will become confortable with where they are at spiritually.
The word missional is new for the church but is widespread and losing its meaning altogether due to overuse. For the church to understand what is meant is vitally important.
- Definition of the mission of God
Starts at the time of creation- all created perfect
Rev 7:9-10- picture of the ultimate fulfillment of the mission of God- people from every nation falling before God worshipping Him.
I. Man in God’s image
III. To rule and reign to be a caretaker- thy kingdom come
IV. To worship and have fellowship- Genesis 3:17 onwards.- given a new heart and a new spirit.
The mission of God is God’s expression of eternal love for mankind. Initiated by a missionary God who is sending “Missio Dei.” Restoration of lost relationships and the image of God that is distorted/ruined in man.
Redemption reconciliation restoration reign and rule
- The kind of people God chooses- Noah, Abraham, Israel, Moses, Joshua, Judges, Saul and Kings, Prophets, The Messiah, Apostles, You and Me today. “Putting the world back to rights.” N.T. Wright
God has chosen human vessels and instruments to fulfill His task. For us overcoming sin is an impossible mission and God alone can fix what is broken and bring reconciliation but has chosen to use us for His mission force.
1. Sent out and empowered by the Holy Spirit
2. Proclaimed the kingdom of God and God’s reign
3. Jesus was sent to live out the good news proclaiming it and living it out. He practiced what He preached as part of His message of the coming Kingdom
4. Jesus was sent to form a community of the good news. It was not random proclamation but was forming a community that would recognize the reign of God
5. Jesus was sent to activate the good news through His death and resurrection and carrying it on into the future.
We are the sent people today as we start this journey of following Jesus as His disciples and is carried out by simple ordinary people such as you and me.
- The strategy today is the church
Have strong vibrant groups of believers who will carry out this mission into their communities.
- The body of Christ- the incarnational presence of Christ- the church is meant to be incarnational rather than institutional
The church is to be a channel of God’s blessing
- The challenges the church has today in this mission
Understand itself- incarnational presence of Christ in the communities it is placed
Organize itself- as a movement not an institution- people over priorities- shopping in churches where they can fit in, instead of where you can go to be equipped
Express itself- the measure of the effectiveness of the church should not be by people who gather but by people who scatter in the communities it is placed
Be itself- one of the greatest challenges we face today we think we are but we aren’t;
Remain connected- connected to God and understanding His finger at work- connected to one another and to the community- we are called to be the salt and light and cannot be if isolated
Move with a sense of urgency- urgency we move with the mission of God- attention focused on everything else except fulfilling the mission of the church and using past models we repeat- What is God’s call on your life and on your church?
The mission of God is holistic! It touches every aspect and dimension of human life!
2 Peter 3:30- moving forward with the vision of a totally transformed world in front of us; and every Christian move forward with that mission.