As I said before I spend a lot of time talking about missions and studying missions and trying to fund missions and we still seem to have a difficult time defining what missions are, or what “mission” is. Part of the problem is we get stuck on motivation. Here is an amazing statement from Michael Horton is a book that needs to be read by anyone interested in the American religious scene today. It is called Christless Christianity.
“The church is not the gospel. Whether packaged in high church forms (with the church as an institutional place) or low church versions (the church as transformed individuals), the idea is rife among us today that the church is engaged in a redemptive mission, extending Christ’s saving life and mission in the world. But if we are ever to get the focus off us and back onto Christ (much less, to properly interpret Scripture), we will have to stop giving ourselves so much credit. We do not redeem; we were redeemed. The incarnation is not a prototype for us and our incarnational living and ministry in the world; it is a unique event of a unique person, of which we have been made witnesses rather than co-agents. Neither as a sum total of born again Christians nor as a historical institution with a postal address is the church the savior; it is always the sinful body that is saved. The church does not testify to its own holiness or zeal but to Christ, who ‘justifies the ungodly’ (Rom 4:5).” Michael Horton, Christless Christianity – page 230