Everyone gets to play – A short thought on God’s mission in the World

Normally in evangelical circles we think of mission as something that we do for God, or at best with God that helps communicate the message of God’s forgiveness of sins. While I don’t disagree with that description, it is not as rich and as all encompassing as the biblical narrative frames it. In the first description, mission doesn’t make much sense any time before the cross, and arguably before pentecost. But God has been on mission all through His story and although we won’t get far without being saved from sin and death, God’s story, focuses on what we are saved for more than what we are saved from.

Often we think of mission as something we do to obey God and win the lost, evangelism and church planting. But the bible shows us that in fact God was engaged in mission long before we came on the scene, He has a plan and a purpose for creation and He chooses to include us, He chooses to ask us to come along and co-create with Him.

Chris Wright1 helps us see the larger scope

“God’s purpose is to bring a broken creation, spoiled at every level, that is at the level of individual human hearts through culture and societies, nations and brokeness at an international level, right through to the brokenness of creation itself. To bring a world like that, that we see in Genesis Ch 1-11, to a world that is being renewed, restored and purged of evil in the new creation at the end of Revelation.”

In this scope, God is doing things in His world, through His people to the end of the redeeming of everything that God has created.

So being involved in God’s mission is not just the realm of evangelists and church planters. Skye Jethani says the three things that characterised Eden were beauty, order and abundance. Certainly those things take place first as right relationship with God and others, but once we are included in the very life of Christ the outflow of our lives that contribute to the re-newing, re-ordering, re-generating of all of creation is activity that is on mission with God too.

This means that the value of making art, of working for rightness and justice in a work place, and creating jobs are not just useful to God to the extent to which you can witness in those places, but they themselves are part of God’s work through His people to renew the world.

Is God interested in your co-worker at work or co-student at art class hearing about God’s invitation to new life with Him? Certainly, but He is also working through your work to the extent to which you are contributing to the increase of beauty, order and abundance of society and creation.

That’s good news for followers of Jesus who feel left out if they are not involved in the erroneously named ‘full-time ministry’.

  1. Author of The Mission of God 

2 Comments on “Everyone gets to play – A short thought on God’s mission in the World

  1. I like this viewpoint. It also supports the idea that His kingdom came and is here now and we’re partakers in seeing it spreading in all its beauty addressing the mind, body and soul of the individual as well as creation as a whole. Every contribution we make in bringing his kingdom out of our love for Jesus and this world is important now and has eternal value.

    • Yes! Glad that is what you took away from it. Life with God now feels much more meaningful if we recognise we are not waiting for God’s reality to come but as His image bearers we are those that are participating with Him in it coming now!

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