Over the past few years the Lord has been shaping a vision for The Evangelical Church. This is not a new vision. It is simply a different way for us, in our day, to conceive of the purpose for which God has created our denomination. This is not the vision of one person. The seed thoughts for OnMISSION belong to many people in our denomination who have preceded us. More formally the current expression of this vision began to take shape in a meeting of 12 pastors and superintendents in 2011. From that meeting we emerged with the goal of our ministry, “Transformed People Mobilized on the Mission of Christ.”
“Transformed People Mobilized on the Mission Christ,” expresses God’s goal toward which our church ministry is directed. However, the question remained, “How do we get there?” If this is God’s goal, then does God have a plan for us to achieve this goal? His plan is for the church to live as the body of Christ through whom He can reveal Himself to the world so that they might be transformed and mobilized on His mission.
But how does this fit into the larger context of what God was doing through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus? What is the mission of Jesus Christ given to Him by the Father? Traditionally we would simply answer that it is to save the lost. While this answer is true, it is not complete. Jesus’ mission on earth was not only to save the lost, but to bring God’s kingdom to earth. He was here not only to rescue sinners from hell, but to so thoroughly transform them through sanctification and the baptism of the Spirit to be His fully devoted followers who through living according to His kingdom values are establishing His kingdom on earth. Therefore, the mission of Jesus is to bring His kingdom to earth. God’s purpose for creating the church is for us to continue His mission.
So, OnMISSION has three elements; God’s purpose, plan, and goal. OnMISSION is not a church program. It is a lifestyle. It describes the church that is living to accomplish God’s purpose according to His plan to achieve His goal. His purpose; continue the mission of Jesus. His plan: live as the body of Christ through whom He reveals His glory. His goal: transformed people mobilized on the mission of Christ. Therefore, to be OnMISSION means to continue the mission of Jesus by living as the body of Christ through whom God reveals His glory so that people might be transformed and mobilized on Christ’s mission.
The OnMISSION Initiative is the intentional focus of the denomination to see that every local church is OnMISSION. This is not about designing a program in which each church is to participate, nor is it about all of us using the same language to convey this vision. It is, however, a vision for our denomination in which every local church is living to accomplish God’s purpose according to His plan to achieve His goal. We want every church to continue Jesus’ mission of bringing His kingdom to earth. We want every church to be living as the body of Christ through whom He is revealing His glory to the world. We want every church to see people being transformed and mobilized on His mission. This is the OnMISSION Initiative.
This newsletter is part of that initiative. Over this next year all of my articles will in some way be related to explaining in more detail what it means and what is required to be OnMISSION. Other articles will be full of news that provide examples of what it means to live OnMISSION. I hope you will find this year of OnMISSION News to be more than informative. I hope you find it challenging and encouraging to help you and your church live OnMISSION.
It is our desire that everyone in our denomination be reading OnMISSION News. If you have friends in your church that are not subscribers, please feel free to share the newsletter with them and encourage them to sign up to receive their monthly email copy. They can go to our website at the www.theevangelicalchurch.org to enroll.
Beginning with the March issue we will also be including our OnMISSION monthly prayer calendar. This will help you to be able to pray for our church leaders and missionaries as they continue living OnMISSION.