Assuming the Church is evolving, and that it is growing to become in every respect the mature body of Christ (Ephesians 4:15), then shouldn’t the mission of the church be evolving too? Prophetic types are constantly contemporizing, contextualizing, and calling the Church to “act its age.”
If it’s true that the mission of the church evolves, matures, or changes over time, then how is she to know what those changes are?
At this point some may object and say that “God never changes,” (Malachi 3:6) and therefore the church and mission do not change. But, the myriad of voices coming from within the church seem to suggest the contrary.
“Is the mission of the church to be reclaimed from the past?” I think the question is flawed. It might be better to ask, “Is the church of the mission to be reclaimed form the past.” If it’s the latter, then “pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of her,” (Philippians 3:12) seems a more natural trajectory. The current state of the church is defined within the context of its ever maturing mission.
If the church doesn’t evolve, mature, or change, then the question is moot.
If it does, then how do we know what God wants her to do now?