“Mission” as a theme is in decline in the church today. Christian “mission” is also a controversial topic among Christians. Many hold to the view of the church’s mission is better expressed as “social justice” or working for the holistic good of society.
The fundamental question is: What shapes our thoughts on Christian mission? The state of the world (or country) or God’s word? Of course, God’s Word must shape our thinking on all subjects.
3 John 7 gives us a good summary of Christian mission:
For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. (3 John 7)
As an ordained minister in REACH SA (Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa) I was invited to our clergy conference from 13-16 April 2015. We had the privilege of having Phillip Jensen from Australia as our speaker. Phillip’s expositions in 2 Corinthians about the church and ministry were very helpful and encouraging. Below is a summary of some things I learnt.
We live in a world that is changing fast. For many years in South Africa we have enjoyed a nominally Christian worldview (of course there were blatant inconsistencies1 also). Church was seen as good. Adultery and pornography were seen as bad. Homosexuality was seen as a deviance, not a viable, alternative, healthy lifestyle. Marriage was held in honour. Abortion was seen as evil. Creation, as opposed to evolution, was still an accepted worldview. Jesus as Lord and Saviour was taught in schools.