What would happen if you and I grasped – really grasped – our ‘already sentness’? How would our lives and churches be different if we all saw ourselves as joining in with God’s mission?

This is something we discussed at length in yesterday’s first Biblical Basis of Mission class. We used this quote from Chris Wright as a stimulus:

It is not so much, as someone has said, that God has a mission for his church in the world, as that God has a church for his mission in the world. Mission is not just something we do (though it certainly includes that). Mission, from the point of view of our human endeavour, means the committed participation of God’s people in the purposes of God for the redemption of the whole creation.
(in Truth with a Mission: Reading Scripture Missiologically, p14)

For a start I would like to think that a wholesale reckoning with our already sentness would break down the unhelpful and unbiblical perceptions of ‘missionaries’ being on another plane of spirituality (nb. this is just as unhelpful for them as it is for those at home. Question: how do we honour those working cross-culturally without these unhelpful connotations?)

Would reckoning with our already sentness affect how mission was done in the local church? Would it give us more energy, more outward focus, more confidence that God is at work and we are joining with him in what he is doing?

What difference would it make to you to reckon with your already sentness? Let us know by leaving a comment.

2 thoughts on “Reckoning with our already sentness

  1. Regarding reckoning with ones ‘already sentness’, the difference to church, community, self and family life would be a dramatic growth and injection of happiness, peace and joy. As Christ’s followers we are called to have ‘life to the full’ (John 10:10). Having a purposeful realisation that we are part and plan in God’s mission and in fact our termed ‘workers together with him’ (2Cor 6:1) gives meaning and excitement to the life we have been blessed with.
    In terms of how this thinking would practically effect the church on a local level, it should provide an excitement and expectation that each member of the church has a job and is valued in the churches outreach. That, mission does not just start when one leaves their own country and that opportunities are there on your own doorstep. Regarding local churches that have no current external form of witness or outreach, this thinking should be a wake up call and indeed a huge encouragement and challenge leading to the start of opportunities made and a renewed vigour in the life of the church (no matter what the size of the congregation).
    Matt 17:20 states that ‘with faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains’. Having the faith that God cares enough for each individual that he sees us as a vital part in his mission requires faith. From this initial realisation springs a positive change in ones relationship to their creator and also the life they live.

  2. I think “reckoning with my sentness” helps me to realise that:

    a) I’m in the same situation as Jesus, who was sent by the Father
    b) I have a dependent and purposeful relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit who have sent us into the world
    c) I need to have respect for the culture that I have been sent into and the people I am living with, regardless of how different they are to me – in a sense I am a visitor and a guest
    d) I need to live distinctively from these people in ways that echo and point towards God’s purpose for creation.

    Maybe cross-cultural missionaries have a role to play in bringing these kinds of things (which may be much more apparent to people working in a very different culture to that which they are used to) to the attention of the church that is sent in the same way to their own community.

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