The classical concept of mission has been from God through the church to the world.
Ed Stetzer puts it this way: “God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit to give guidance and strength to His people, to confirm in their hearts that they belong to Him. The Spirit gathers those who believe in Jesus into churches as the body of Christ that they may be one as God is one. The unifying work of the Spirit helps the members of the body become more like their Head—Jesus Christ.
If the Father sent the Son, and they sent the Spirit, then the one God is by nature a sending God. And if the church is to reflect her Head, then the body also will be sent, and indeed she is. Jesus said to His disciples, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). The church has been sent on a mission to “announce the gospel of good things!” (Rom. 10:15). This is what we do because it reflects who we are, and who we are reflects the One who made us — ‘The God Who Sends’.”
In a nutshell – our God is a sending God, and if we are to reflect our sending God (who we remember especially as we celebrate this Pentecost, that he sent His Holy Spirit), then we are also to realise that we are sent people!
Right now, many of you can see how essential churches are in communities. It is not the building is not important – it’s just another building (and these buildings have now been vacant for months). It is the church, the body of Christ with the message of hope, love, grace, peace, forgiveness, the Gospel – that is essential in our communities at this time.
The church (you) are the missional agency in our community, and now is the time for us to be that in the most unprecedented ways both now and also as we move forward into whatever the future may hold for us as a society.
My prayer is that as we seek to have a renewed missional focus, that we will be sure that we each see our part in the work of our sending God in this world, and what that means for us, as we seek to be the hands, feet and mouthpiece of God to those around us.
God Bless you as you are sent with the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Ben Hentschke