Mission as identity
For many people mission has become an event. We have guest services. Evangelistic courses. Street preaching. Youth programmes. There’s nothing wrong with these things. But mission is more than a slot into our schedules. It is an identity and a lifestyle. Mission is about living all of life, ordinary life, with gospel intentionality.
We are called to be missional communities – not lone evangelists. The life of the covenant community is to be a light to the nations. ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’ (John 13:35) Our love for one another reveals our gospel identity. The world will know that Jesus is the Son of God sent by God to be Saviour of the world through the community life of believers (John 17:20-23). This does not primarily mean inviting people to meetings. It is about shared life into which other people are welcomed.
Scattered communities of light
Imagine a globe in darkness with one point of light. That was Israel in the Old Testament, one point of light in a dark world, drawing the nations to God. And New Testament believers are still be communities of light, drawing people to God. We still draw people in towards the centre. But the centre is no longer one geographic location in Palestine, but a hundred, thousand communities of light scattered across the globe. We are not be like a lighthouse, occasionally sending a beam of light across the city. We are to be communities of light and hope and love in a dark and broken world at street level, on the street corner.