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What is Mission?

What is Mission.jpg

What is mission?

01 July 2024 by Graham Hill

“Christian mission is joining God’s work in redeeming and restoring all humanity and creation through Jesus Christ.

I'll start with the definition: “Christian mission is joining God’s work in redeeming and restoring all humanity and creation through Jesus Christ. Mission is integral (holistic). It involves proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, moving in the power and love of the Spirit, pursuing justice, serving others, embodying Christ through our presence, building communities of believers, caring for creation, suffering for righteousness, living out Christ’s teachings, and relying on prayer and God’s guidance. We are God’s sent people who go with Good News and make disciples who also go. Mission is joining Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and the gospel as he transforms people and societies and reveals God’s kingdom.”

Christian mission is joining with God in the redemption and restoration of all humanity and creation—made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian mission refers to the church's calling and practice of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, making disciples of all neighbourhoods and nations, and serving others in love and compassion. Mission encompasses disciple-making, social justice, community service, caring for creation, evangelism, incarnational living, and the holistic transformation of individuals and societies in alignment with Christ's teachings and example. It is rooted in the Missio Dei, recognizing that mission is primarily God's work, and God invites the church to participate. Mission is lived out incarnationally within communities and aims to bring about the kingdom of God on earth, characterized by justice, peace, and reconciliation.

Central to this mission is the concept of being sent and sending others. As God’s sent people, we dedicate our lives to proclaiming and embodying Christ’s gospel, doing justice, loving mercy, walking humbly with God, loving God and neighbour, and going into all the world and making disciples.

We don't have the luxury of designing our mission according to our preferences and tastes. We participate in God’s mission—we don’t have our own. We see the characteristics of that mission revealed in the mission of God in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.

Here are seven characteristics of Christian mission:

  1. Proclamation of the Gospel: Sharing the message of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection—and our salvation and restoration in him.

  2. Disciple-Making: Teaching and nurturing followers of Jesus in all neighbourhoods and nations.

  3. Social Justice: Working toward justice, peace, and reconciliation in society.

  4. Community Service: Serving others with love and compassion, meeting practical needs.

  5. Creation Care: Caring for the environment as part of God's creation.

  6. Incarnational Living: Embodying Christ’s teachings and example within communities as sent and sending people.

  7. Holistic Transformation: Aiming for the comprehensive transformation of people and societies in alignment with Christ's teachings (recognizing that this is God's work and we join with Christ as he, in the power of the Spirit, brings holistic change and transformation).


These characteristics are rooted in the Missio Dei, which recognizes that mission is primarily God's work and that God invites the church to participate in God’s redemptive actions and plan.

Missio Dei is a Latin Christian theological term that can be translated as the "mission of God", or the "sending of God".

It is a concept which has become increasingly important in missiology and in understanding the mission of the church since the second half of the 20th century.

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