Vol 2: 22 Being in Mission: Engaging in Mission in Relationship with God

This week I am down at Northern Seminary teaching a course on Leadership in Missional Perspective. Today we were discussing as a class about how easy it is to turn mission into a task that we go about doing as a church in seeking to serve God or serve others. But being missional is not about accomplishing a task as it is about participating with God who is in relationship with us. There can be nothing more personal that participating with God in God’s mission.

In exploring God’s nature as missional, God is not the kind of God that sits on a throne somewhere telling us what to do in mission. The opposite is in fact the case. God is actively engaged in the world – God is actively engaging the lives of people – God invites us as the community of the new humanity (code word for the church) to participate with what God is up to in the world. If mission was God merely telling us what to do, then mission would indeed be a task – which we might carry out personally or impersonally.

But God does just not tell us what to do – God invites us to participate with what God is up to in the world. In inviting us, God invites us to come alongside the Spirit, who is actively engaged in the world. This makes mission a very personal act, a very relational act – not only with those with whom we are engaging, but also because we are in relation with God who is leading us in mission.

Jesus in John’s Gospel makes very clear that the way he engaged in mission was through hearing and seeing what God the Father was about in the world – to hear and see requires us to be in proximity to God and God in proximity to us.

It’s been a long day teaching and so I am not sure if I am communicating clearly – but what I am trying to express is that mission is a process of serving in partnership with God, God who comes alongside us, who is with us, who is in relationship with us. We do not do mission alone carrying out a command – rather in relationship with God we participate with God in making all things new.

Mission then is about God being personal to us – and therefore, in mission, we share God being personal with others. May we be set free from seeing mission as a task and be engaged in sharing the love of God with those to whom God sends us in very personal ways.

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iMissional.org | Roland Kuhl