Everyone wants their life to count for something. Each person is looking for purpose and meaning. That’s why books about finding your calling, your purpose, your life’s mission – both Christian and otherwise – sell millions of copies. As people who are created in the image and likeness of God, we are inherently drawn to the idea of mission and purpose. This is because God is himself is “sent and sending God,” a God of intentionality and purpose, who is himself missional.
The Mission of God
A discussion of our mission must first start with a explanation of God’s mission. The bible teaches that from the beginning of time, God chose to create the universe for his good pleasure and to display his glory (Isaiah 43:7, Revelation 4:11). Mankind was created to occupy a unique place in God’s good creation, but we chose to rebel and fell into sin, which leads to death (Romans 5:12). However, rather than abandoning sinful humanity, God lovingly purposed to save men and women from all over the world (Ephesians 1:5-10) and make for himself a people who would be in relationship with him, restored from the devastating effects of sin. God accomplished this by sending his Son, born of the virgin Mary, who then lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death in our place, and rose again to conquer Satan, sin, and death. Jesus then ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to his people (John 14:26), the church. This church was then sent into the whole world to tell the good news of Jesus (Acts 1:8).
Jesus was sent. The Holy Spirit was sent. And so, Jesus’ church is sent. It has been rightly said that God’s church doesn’t have a mission, so much as God’s mission has a church. As God’s people, we are caught up in the great mission of God, his mission to rescue and redeem all of creation from bondage to sin and death. We are invited to join God in his mission to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Why Have a Mission Statement?
As a church, we want to clearly articulate the mission that God has given to us, a mission that is outlined and explained fully in the pages of the bible. However, the bible is a massive book (a library of books, actually) and no one is capable of keeping all the pieces in their minds at once. A mission statement is a short, easy-to-remember summary statement that answers questions like, “why do we exist as a church?” or “what is our purpose?”
Our church’s mission statement is informed, fueled, and shaped by the Scriptures. In this series of blog posts, we will look at each element of the mission statement, where it finds its basis in the bible, and how the various pieces fit together.