4. Geographical Movement

mappaulsfirstmissionaryjourney.gif A reading of the Gospels and Acts shows us that missionary-missional-missions work is characterized by geographical movement—movements move.

These comments by Schnabel on Acts 13 make that plain.

While authentic missionary work is always the work of the Holy Spirit, it is at the same time an endeavor that is visible, so visible that it can be traced on a map.

Since the term “mission” is derived from the Latin verb “to send” (mittere), missionary work implies geographic movement to regions, to cities, and to people who have not yet heard the good news of Jesus Christ.

“Mission” is not simply Christian existence or “everything the church does,” but the deliberate activity of a community of faith that distinguishes itself from its environment both in terms of religious belief (theology) and social behavior (ethics). Those going out are convinced of the truth claims of the Christian faith, and they actively work to win other people for the content of faith and way of life espoused by that community. Intentionality and geographic movement are an integral part of authentic missionary work.

Just for fun, how do your actions measure up to what Schnabel says about a New Testament view of mission?

Assignment: Read Acts again and plot the movement of the word of God from Jerusalem to the world.

Tomorrow: Proclamation of the word.