Ephesians theme is the economy of God, his pre-ordained system for the summing up of all things into himself by way of Christ through the church. This theme is introduced in Eph 1:9–10: “making known to us the mystery of his will, in accordance with his good pleasure that he purposed in himself, leading to the economy of the fullness of times, to head up all things in Christ—the things in heaven and the things on the earth—in him.” In the mission endeavor then a church, a gathered community of believers is the point of all the effort. We seem to have gotten the idea that mission is just being out there telling good news hoping that something will happen. The church this gathered community is also a place of mercy and continued witness even when it seems to be floundering.
Luther says, “Such is the nature of the Church in its earthly government that human wisdom must stumble thereat; various sects of the offended must rise in opposition to the faith. But God delights to rule, not with the sword or with visible power, but through weakness and in opposition to the devil and the world. Seemingly, he would permit his Church to be utterly overthrown. Guard against and resist offenses as well as we may — and the practice is not without its efficacy — still we must ultimately be driven to say defiantly: “He who established the Church and has to this time preserved it, will continue to protect it. Man would not rule it wisely, but the living Christ is seated upon the throne whereon God placed him, and we shall see who can pull him down and destroy his Church.”