“The church is a community of faith. Under no circumstances should we lose this very concept of the church. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not establish an institution that came to be called “church.” He gave a particular mission to his disciples: Go forth into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 10: 15). In fact the raison d’être (reason for existence) of our church, its true richness and real value is neither in its structure nor in its hierarchy, neither in its theology nor in its spirituality. Its true richness lies in its missionary engagement, evangelistic witness and diakonal action. We should remind ourselves that mission does not come from the church; the church acquires its real nature, unique identity and true vocation from mission. Hence a church becomes church when it fulfills its missionary calling.” ~ Aram K’eshishean
[Tweet “Being a community of faith, the church is also a common mission.”]
[Tweet “Christ did not establish a church institution. He gave a particular mission to his disciples.”]
[Tweet “The Church’s richness lies in its missionary engagement, evangelistic witness and diakonal action.”]
[Tweet “Mission does not come from church; church acquires its nature, identity & vocation from mission.”]
[Tweet “A church becomes church when it fulfills its missionary calling.”]
This post is the third in a series of posts that are designed to get your mission committees, small groups, cohorts, and bible studies talking about mission. The first, “Two Churches, One City, Almost No Common Ground in Mission,” is an interactive scenario which can create a lively discussion. The second, “The ‘Church’ Only Exists When She Exercises Her Missionary Charge.” is a round table discussion of sorts with 3 questions at the end. Feel free to tweet any of the short quotes above by hitting the ‘tweet this’ link after each.
In an age where people simultaneously do and don’t want to be identified by there activities, the church’s identity always comes by being and doing. In Him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)
Are you ‘in Christ?’ ~ “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
Are you ‘living’ for and in Him? ~ “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him.” (Colossians 2:6)
Are you moving in Him? ~ “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)
‘Being the Church,’ a popular sound bite, is only possible by being in Christ, living for and in Him, and moving as he would move. You can’t “be the church” without mission. The church locally becomes a local church when she engages God and His mission. If the local church spends most of it’s people, energy, time, resources, and money sustaining its own existence, then it’s not living and moving and being the church of God.
Do you agree or disagree with Aram K’eshishean’s quote and my follow-up? Why or Why Not?