What is mission? How do we define it? What do we understand about it? These are questions that should be understood, and acted upon. Mission should be bent on the restoration, renewal and redemption of all peoples/ creation unto God through Christ. When we consider mission it is first important to understand God’s heart for mission.
As we look throughout the narrative of the scriptures we find and overwhelming sense of love, and desire for the whole earth to come and know Him. When we look to Genesis 12.3 we see Abraham being told that his seed will bless all nations (peoples). This is significant as it highlights the restoration, renewal and redemption of the whole earth unto him.
Moving further through the scriptures we see in Exodus 19.5-6 Israel being charged as a nation of priests, in which to bless the nations—contrast this in what we see in 1 Peter 2.9-10 and Peter is giving the same charge to the church. God is concerned with a people catching his heart and moving through the world to see it take root in the hearts of all people.
Solomon in his prayer of dedication of the temple asked God that he would hear the prayer of the nations (2 Chronicles 6.32-33). This is an incredible picture of what it looks like when God’s people catch his heart. Asking God that a holy place truly be a holy place where all people can come to commune with Holy God.
As you thumb through the prophets you see the fury of God through the message of the prophets, due to a lack of follow through in being a people bent on seeing the Gods renown spread though all the earth, to all nations. God’s anger came from a turning inward of the Israelites, rather than a focus outward.
As we come into the New Testament text there are 5 great commissioning statements that charge us to go. Matthew 28.18-20, Mark 16.15, Luke 24.46-49, John 20.21 and Acts 1.8 each of these verses drive us into the world; they call us to make disciples as we are going. We have to understanding that each of these statements are mandates to be going. Through this we need to understand that God has told us to go, and we have no excuse not to unless God has told us to stay. But as we are staying we are making disciples.
The burden of Proof is always on whether we stay and never whether we go. God has told us to make disciples wherever we are with reckless abandonment. We need to be involved with real Kingdom growth, which is seeing people become disciples of Christ. Our mandate is toward seeing the kingdom expanded wherever we are. This is the mandate to go, it doesn’t mean that we all have to go to China or India or South America. It means that we are making disciples were we are and moving toward the nations.
When we go, with out needing to feel something confirming going, we will see great movements of God because we are being obedient toward the task. God has already told us to go, and we only stay when God tells us to stay. There is no place in for fleece laying in the kingdom of God. Will God speak to us in this way? Most likely, but we have already been given the answer, and that is to go. We do not just go out of a begrudging spirit, in fact we would miss the heart of God in doing so. We have to, and must, go in a spirit of Joy and that does not mean that we are always going to be happy or comfortable, but that we see what God is doing and let that be enough.