In leading various training’s and conferences which include leaders, I will often ask the question “What is the mission of the Church?” Invariably the responses are diverse; infrequently do they laser in on Jesus’ concise commissioning of the Church.
Jesus prayed for the Church regarding its mission. John 17 states that though Jesus desired for His followers to be with Him, He left His Church on earth for a specific purpose. He prayed, “Father, just as you sent me into the world I am sending them into the world.”
Jesus also directed His followers in John 20:21 with these words, “As the Father sent me into this world I am sending you.” The mission for the Church is quite simple and clear. It is Jesus’ very same mission.
To understand the mission of the Church we must understand Jesus’ mission! What was Jesus’ mission? How is it specifically identified? How do we concisely describe and communicate it?
These are important questions for us. Understanding the mission sets in order clear objectives for the Church. It establishes parameters for what we do and don’t give ourselves to; and what we train and lead towards.
Many scriptures describe and illustrate Jesus’ mission. One that stands out is Luke 19:10. Jesus said, “I came to seek and to save what was lost.”
As you know the New Testament word translated “save” is sozo. This is a packed term. It describes Jesus’ mission and work. We must understand and apply ourselves to live out Jesus’ mission. Only then can we offer our world true hope!
In our next installment we will answer what is sozo? What did sozo practically look like for Jesus? What does it mean for us?