Is the Mission of the Church "Missional"?

Don't Confuse Promises with Commands


In recent years, "missional" has become a buzzword for Christian living, but what do we mean when we call something missional? Are we describing the purpose Jesus had in mind when He entrusted His disciples with the Great Commission? Pastors Kevin DeYoung, Ryan Kelly, and Greg Gilbert consider this topic to clear away confusion surrounding the biblical mission of the church.


How would you define the mission of the church? What do you consider to be some of its primary purposes?
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Kevin mentioned how many times the mission of the church becomes muddied when we confuse God's promises for commands. Though many times there is overlap between the two, they are not always one and the same. Can you think of any prominent examples of that confusion in your own experience? How did they sidetrack a right pursuit of God's desire for His church? What was missing?
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While good deeds are important for the Christian life, they are the fruit of faith. As Greg pointed out, biblically speaking, the essence of mission is the proclamation of the gospel. How did this statement strike you? What emphasis do you place on proclamation in your own life? What about in the ways you teach others?
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Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Included with proclamation is the responsibility of making disciples. How are you working to prepare those in your midst for the work of disciple making? Are they able to see you modeling it for them? If not, what are some changes you could make in your leadership to more visibly model a commitment to discipleship?
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In light of this discussion, can you identify any adjustments you need to make in the mission of your church? If so, what are they? What steps will you take to begin those changes in the days ahead?
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A "missional" life focused on ministering to the poor and loving our neighbors is a wonderful thing, but it must be driven by a commitment to proclaiming the gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ. Our good deeds are crucial, but they are the fruits of the Christian life—not the essence of it. Spend some time asking God to give you a greater desire for proclaiming His gospel to the world in order that you might be a motivating model for those He has called you to shepherd. 


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