What Jesus Sends Us into the World to DoBy David Burnette
What is the mission of the church? That’s obviously an important question, and one that is receiving a lot of unhelpful answers these days. It’s precisely the question that Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert tackle in this month’s featured resource, The Mission of the Church: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission.
For the month of September, we’ll be highlighting some citations from DeYoung and Gilbert’s book. If we want to be obedient to the mission Christ has given us, we need to be clear about what that mission is, and what it is not. Here are a couple quotes from chapter 2:
“Mission…is not everything we do in Jesus’ name, nor everything we do in obedience to Christ. Mission is the task we are given to fulfill. It’s what Jesus sends us into the world to do. And if we want to figure out what Jesus sends disciples into the world to do, we think the best place to look is the Great commission.” (29)
DeYoung and Gilbert speak of one of the common mistakes made in much modern missions literature, namely:
“an assumption that whatever God is doing in the world, this too is our task…But what if we are not called to partner with God in all he undertakes? What if the work of salvation, restoration, and re-creation are divine gifts to which we bear witness, rather than works in which we collaborate? What if we carry on Jesus’ mission but not in the same way he carried it out?…We have no part, for example, in dying for the sins of the world.” (41-42).