Modern Christians, particularly of the Western world, seem to trend toward one of two paths when they talk about God’s mission. Either they will set off down a “sent-ness” path by emphasizing the church as being sent and what it means to be missional, or they will go down a “nations” path by emphasizing the church as the one sending around the world. While these two paths are not incompatible, they seem too often to be followed in divergent directions. The reason for this is that they often focus on different parts of the missio Dei (mission of God). Yet, I think by exploring the commissions of Jesus, we get a better picture of God’s mission—we understand more clearly our missiology.
In the past century, there has been a tremendous amount written on missiology. But as I write on missiology in this chapter, I do so because I believe there is still more that needs to be said, and this conversation is necessary for the health and growth of the church. I would take another step and suggest that the church today desperately needs to remain engaged in this conversation. A proper theological diet needs a healthy portion of missiology, and perhaps the best way to do so is by examining the commissions of Jesus.
In this chapter, I will focus on all four of the commissions of Jesus. We will examine what it means to be a missional, missions-minded, gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered church from the four commissions of Jesus, so that his name and his fame would be more widely known.
This week’s R2R distinctive
Witness (Matthew 28:18-20): I live to tell the story of Jesus and to make disciples of Him even to the ends of the earth, knowing he is with me always.
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