It may be helpful to clarify some terms. “Mission,” simply put, is everything the church is sent to be and do in the world. This definition assumes that God initiated the mission of the church and continues to direct it. Likewise, this definition affirms that churches are sent, since the very word “mission” implies being dispatched or sent to perform a task or service.

As Jesus was sent by God, so Jesus sent the disciples and followers who formed the church. As living embodiments of the living work of Christ, churches are to continue what Jesus began. The church, therefore, is by nature a sign and an agent of the kingdom of God here and now. Everything God rules is kingdom property. That includes everything the church is and does….

Mission involves everything the church does in response to God’s creative and redemptive mandates. Evangelism and mission are not synonymous. Social action is not the same as mission. Discipleship, stewardship, and fellowship, like evangelism and social responsibility, deal with specific and concrete actions. Together these functions become the mission of the church.–Ray Bakke and Sam Roberts, “The Expanded Mission of City Center Churches”?(International Urban Associates, 1998), p. 85.

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