Term Paper: Christian Church Acknowledges Its Missionary

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[. . .] In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his apostles: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (28:19) He thus confers continuity to the mission which is further assimilated by the Church.

The word ecclesia translates into "a called-out assembly."

Ecclesiology nowadays is understood as the study of the Church. By an assembly, we understand a community which is formed of people of different identities, cultural, economic, etc., but who are brought together by faith into the fellowship with God. Ecclesiology regards the Church as having "multiple roles as clergy and laity with a variety of gifts (differentiation and diversity)."

This implies that ministries' work can vary in terms of how they choose to implement and materialize God's plan for humanity but that, ultimately, the purpose of the Church will reflect in unity the mission of redemption, God's mission for humanity. While structurally and organizationally, ministries may be different, they will serve the eschatological mission of God and Jesus who promised the apostles that He will remain with them until the end of the times. Ecclesiology concerns itself with the ever changing historical situations so that the mission is adapted to fulfill God's plan.

Many Christians assume that the Kingdom of God originated with its proclaiming by Christ and His disciples. Jesus did come to proclaim the message of God's plan and purpose for humanity. The centre of this plan has always been the Kingdom. And given that God has neither withheld His identity, nor his purpose, it can be said that the Kingdom originates at the very beginning of the Bible with the creation of man. However, because Adam and Eve and their descendents were denied access to the Tree of Life, by the former having disobeyed God and fallen from grace, it is only through the coming of the Messiah that the "final and climatic act of historical redemption"

is fulfilled. The tribes of Israel became the literal transfiguration of a kingdom under David. The kingdom which God sets forth through David is thus a precursor of a much greater kingdom which Christ will form in the future. In Chronicles 17:14 God calls the kingdom of David "my kingdom," setting a parallel between the temporary kingdom and the everlasting kingdom to come. The kingdom of God also transcends the physical space, it is within all man and every man was granted access to it by the coming of Christ who served as a representative of the kingdom. The discovery of the true and only existent God is the path to the Kingdom where God can be found.

Shalom in creation, understood as perfection of God's actions, generally encompasses harmonious, balanced interrelationships between men, between men and the rest of creation, and not lastly, between man and God. Shalom assumes a state of peace that clearly derives from the above. But the peace of God is not the same as the peace which the world confers and which it understands as the absence of war alone. God's peace is a state of being both internal and external within which everything falls rightly in place. The discovering of the true and only God is the discovery of the shalom, the path to redemption finally.

To invite and encourage others to come into fellowship with God is a missionary's work. A Christian missionary is thus an ambassador for Christ. There were times when missionaries were sent to proclaim a simple message to people without dwelling on any philosophical or theological bases too deeply. In recent decades however, the theology of mission has thrived to help missionaries in their work as Christian ambassadors. In this sense, mission theology exemplifies the Apostles reaching out to the world. Moreover, it questions the nature of the apostolic considerations of either philanthropist or theological nature. The theology of mission thus clarifies aspects of Christianity so that missionaries themselves, having understood in plenitude the mission, can preach the gospel. Theologizing about Christian mission therefore is to provide certain answers in relation to missionary practice and the ever changing societal aspects of societies within which evangelization is practiced.

Missionary work is implemented per se by the missionaries but the organizing of missions worldwide is without a doubt the task which church leaders must respond to. The definite, concise, and ultimate purpose of the church, such as enacted by God has been to evangelize and preach to the entire world the good news. Mission theology therefore centralizes the role which church leaders have in the enactment of the mission of evangelizing. Ministries thus must serve the Church's purpose, subsequently God's, by mobilizing resources effectively for world evangelization. Church leaders thus have the responsibility of prioritizing outreach.

Ultimately, God's mission is for all people, whether clergy or laymen. This is to say that every human being, particularly lay people, participate in the mission but do so on particular terms and in their own way. The theology of mission acknowledges that all humanity is part of God's plan which is to say that all humanity can share to another the good news. As believers, lay people are missionaries of God intrinsically.


Abraham, William, James. The Logic of Evangelism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989.

Blauw, Johannes. The Missionary Nature of the Church. New York, Toronto, London: McGraw-Hill Company Inc., 1974.

Bosch, David, C. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. New York: Orbis Books, 1991.

Flett, John, G. The Witness of God: The Trinity, Missio Dei, Karl Barth, and the Nature of Christian Community. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000.

Van Gelder, Craig. The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2012.

Pazmino, Robert, M. God Our Teacher: Theological Basics in Christian Education. Grand Rapids, Mi: Baker Academic, 2001.

Wright, Christopher, J., H. "The Christian and Other Religions: The Biblical Evidence," Themelios 9, no. 2 (1984): 4-15.

Wright, Christopher, J., H. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative. Downers Grove: Illinois, InterVarsity Press, 2006.

William James Abraham, The Logic of Evangelism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989), p. 118.

Johannes Blauw, The Missionary Nature of the Church (New York, Toronto, London: McGraw-Hill Company, Inc., 1974), p. 18.

Christopher J.H. Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2006), p. 205.

Johannes Blauw, Op. cit., p. 19.

David C. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (New York, Orbis Books, 1991), pp. 389-390.

John G. Flett, The Witness of God: The Trinity, Missio Dei, Karl Barth, and the Nature of Christian Community (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), p. 18.

Craig Van Gelder, The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit (Grand… [END OF PREVIEW]

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