Theology of Mission

Mission originates and culminates with God. It is His work, not ours. We are not...
January 23, 2023

Mission originates and culminates with God. It is His work, not ours. We are not called to bring our mission into a local context; instead we are called to partner with God in His mission.


  • Missions is a programmatic, usually a material and/or event response, to a need presented elsewhere, in which we can and are willing to serve.
  • Mission is broader, speaking to the total redemptive purpose of God to establish His Kingdom, and consequently, our role in it.


  • Among the many elements in God’s nature, here it is important to note He is sovereign, He is love, and He is “missional.” He is a sender, a missionary God, the One truly on mission. He pursues us; He initiates. This results in the “missio Dei,” mission of God.
  • Why does God want this mission realized? He desires relationship with his creation. To that end, He elects a people, gives revelation, and provides reconciliation. 


  • Ultimately, the mission is to bring glory to God. (Eph 1:14; Rev 5:12) This is experienced and established in “the Kingdom of God,” His reign over all. (Matt 4:17; Acts 1:3, 28:31, Phil 2:11)
  • This mission then takes place in three spheres: 
    •  the human, through the proclamation of the Good News to all who are separated from Him that they might be reconciled to Him (Jn 3:16; Mk 10:52, 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 3:18)
    • the supernatural, through the defeat of Satan already known in the heavenly realms and to us (1 Jn 3:8; Eph 3:10, 4:8; Col 1:15-18, 2:15; Heb 2:14)
    • the creation, through its restoration and renewal (Rom 8:22; Isa 65:17-25; Rev 20-21)


  • Jesus is integral to the accomplishment of this mission. He came to us, on mission from the Father. (Phil 2:6-11; Jn 1:14)
  • He says He was “sent” (38 times about Jesus sent from God, just in John’s Gospel) and He “came” (30 more times in NT), words that speak to His deliberate work on mission with the Father. He is the chief “apostle,” sent out by God. (Heb 3:1)
  • His death and resurrection “finished” the work necessary for the fullness of God’s mission to be accomplished. (Jn 19:30) However, in God’s sovereignty, it is yet to be fully realized.
  • Why? God chooses to wait, desiring all to come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9), and call on His name (Rom 10:13).


  • God selected a people: Abram, and his descendants, known as Israel, that the world would know of His salvation. (Gen 12, 15)
  • The Church received the New Covenant, based on what Jesus did. We are now sent to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples. (Mk 1:15; Rom 10:14-15)
  • Followers of Christ are given 5 “Commissions” by our Lord to do this. They differ in focus:
    • John 20:21 – mandate of our mission (sent-ness)
    • Mark 16:15 – message of our mission (proclamation)
    • Luke 24:44-49 – basis of our mission (Law and Prophets and Writings)
    • Matthew 28:18-20 – objective of our mission (make disciples of all)
    • Acts 1:8 – plan of our mission (Spirit-empowered and directed)
  • The Disciples after given these commissions came to be known as apostles, “sent-out ones.” The Church continues to obey these commissions as a part of our “sent-ness,” following the Spirit’s direction in our lives, individually and collectively.


  • Jesus is coming back! Thus, there is an urgency of proclaiming the Gospel. (1 Thess 5:1; 2 Cor 5:14, 6:2) 
  • There are eternal destinations: heaven and hell. Life eternal is reserved for the redeemed of God; everlasting punishment for those who are without Him. (Matt 25:31-46)
  • The ultimate objective is seen as Revelation 7:9-10, where every people group surrounds the throne of God in worship.


  • “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”  Charles Spurgeon
  • “Men and means were not forthcoming fast enough for the great work of  foreign missions, so God turned the stream this way and sent great masses of the unevangelized to come in contact with Christians [here in America].”​  Annie Armstrong
  • If we don’t join God in His work, we show ourselves to be “practical atheists,” universalists, or dispassionate elitists.

Our prayer and our service should be “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”