by Peyton G. Craighill
- God is always on mission. Because God is love, God is never remote or passive. Divine love is the greatest power in the universe, reaching constantly into every corner of creation. God is always on mission, creating, liberating, and sustaining – serving as the archetypal missionary.
- God formed a servant people to share in God’s mission.Through the covenant with Abraham, God established a servant people as partners in mission through all time and in all places.
- God prepared a servant people to share with God on mission.Through their baptism in the Red Sea and their covenant instituted by Moses at Mount Sinai, God’s servant people were prepared for sharing in God’s mission.
- God sent Jesus on mission into our world.In the fullness of time, God sent Jesus on mission into our world to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God.
- In his baptism, Jesus revealed his mission.Through Jesus’ baptism, the Father revealed him to be God’s Son, come to share with the Father in mission among all of God’s servant people and among all nations.
- Christ instituted the New Covenant.At the Last Supper, Christ instituted the New Covenant with God’s servant community. Through Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, he ratified that Covenant.
- The Bible and church history are the story of God’s mission.On the basis of the progression outlined above, we see that the story of the Bible is the narrative of God’s mission in and for the world. This missional narrative has continued throughout the history of the church. Church history is the history of God’s mission through God’s servant people, spreading out to cover God’s world with the knowledge and practice of divine love and justice.
- Still today, the church is an agent of God’s mission.The church has no mission of its own. Its only mission is to share in God’s mission in ways appropriate to each time and place. God establishes every congregation to promote God’s mission in its local setting. Every congregation is God’s “base camp” for mission. Mission isn’t a secondary, peripheral activity of the church; it’s why the church exists!
- Through baptism, we share in God’s mission.Baptism is the rite through which all people, whether infants or adults, are commissioned by Christ to share in God’s mission. The Baptismal Covenant provides the guidance by which baptized people grow in maturity as they share in God’s mission in their daily lives. Every baptized member of the church is Christ’s missionary!
- Daily-life missions are carried out in seven areas.The areas in daily life where baptismal mission is carried out, Monday through Sunday, are the following: home, workplace, leisure, community, wider world, spiritual formation, and church ministries. Normally, members accomplish their missions-in-Christ in these areas through their customary daily-life activities.
- Congregations prepare members to share in God’s mission.The congregation should be the organization that promotes preparation for mission in daily life by providing resources that inspire, form, guide, and support their members on mission, Monday through Sunday. Leaders need to plan all aspects of congregational ministry – liturgical, formational, pastoral, and service-oriented – to reflect this missional spirit. Many congregations who are primarily focused on attracting in more members into their activities should change their primary focus to sending out their members on God’s mission.
- Wider ministries support congregations in daily-life missions.The wider ministries of the church in dioceses, seminaries, educational and publishing centers, and in national church programs need to support their local congregations in their efforts to accomplish this paradigm shift to a missional orientation for their ministries.