The end of missional

Nothing could be more important than clarity about the mission Jesus’ entrusted to us as his followers.

Yet nothing could be less clear, at least for the church of the affluent West.

Western clergy and theologians have been rethinking the nature of the church’s mission for over a century.

The journey began with the Student Volunteer Movement which morphed into the World Council of Churches. A dynamic, evangelical, missionary movement became a century-long talkfest, the fruit of which was the rejection of traditional missionary endeavour as evangelism and church planting, and the collapse of the progressive mainline denominations.

The mainline churches became captive to the spirit of the age which sidelined God, and placed humankind’s dignity, aspirations, values, and needs at the centre of the universe.*

Today, a new generation of evangelicals are going down that same path. They will face the same consequences.

Mission is increasingly about creating an economically just society on earth, and caring for the environment. Even starting businesses can bring in the kingdom of God. This holistic mission seeks to both transform society, and win disciples. Both are equally valid.

There are no priorities. Mission is everything the church is sent into the world to do. We are all missionaries now.

When everyone feeds the horse. The horse starves. When everything is mission. Nothing is. When everyone is a missionary. No one is.

*Christopher Little, What Makes Mission Christian?