I’ve been thinking a lot about mission. Since Easter, we have had a reading from the book of Acts every Sunday. These readings have brought home to me two things – the missionary activity of the church; the guiding hand of God.
Emil Brunner said ‘The church exists by mission as a fire does by burning’ – no mission, no church.
I imagine a church that has seen no growth from new Christians for a long time … eventually all its members will die … and the church will have to close.
But that church actually died long before it closed. It died when it ceased to be a missionary church.
Recently someone was recounting to me an experience that they had one Christmas – the church had some great services, with many visitors. At the end of the Christmas services, they were feeling really great that so many visitors had come. However, the response from one person was this “You Have ruined my Christmas this year, because we had so many strangers in church”
A came across a great illustration for the centrality of mission to the church.
Think about a game of football – why do people play … well, most people play because they enjoy it. (Some play for money) But the heart of football is the competitive element – winning games.
And you don’t win games without scoring goals. It’s as simple as that. No goals, no results. And in the end if there were never any goals scored, it would be a pretty boring and pointless game.
The youtube clip here gives me a sense of the joy of being a Christian, and being part of a church in mission.