Monday, August 21, 2006

Is it Mission if the Gospel isn’t Communicated?

I continue to work my way through the denominational pages of the 250 fulltime mission co-workers. It is taking MUCH longer than I had hoped. I am not going to hint at what I have been finding.

In thinking about “mission” I have come up with a question: “Is it mission if the Gospel isn’t communicated?” A lot of groups feed the hungry, work with AIDS patients and build homes for the poor. Are we different from any of these other groups if we do not clearly communicate the good news of Jesus Christ?

Its just a thought…

5 Comments:

At 4:28 PM , Blogger Backwoods Presbyterian said...

To comment simply. No we are not different if we do not hsare the gospel. Most churches and their missions have devolved into Community Clubs and fraternities/sororities.

 
At 4:34 PM , Anonymous Jon Thomasson said...

Great question! I think the key is Jesus' commandment in Matthew 28:18-20: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"

If the mission does not fit with this at all, then I think it is missing the point. It is good to feed people...but they will hunger again. It is good to care for the sick...but they will die sometime. Remember the woman at the well who said to Jesus, "Sir, please give me this living water so that I won't have to keep coming out to this well all the time!" When we care for others, let us give them true spiritual food and healing along with the rest of it.

 
At 8:17 PM , Anonymous Kevin Smith said...

The gospel is THE central part of Missions - Christ's mandate in the Great Commission.

The strategy for sharing the gospel may differ, however.

"But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."
- James 2:18


It may be that in some instances, God may use us to communicate our faith in action, not words. It may be that God's strategy in some cases will be for people to see your love in what you do, so that they will trust you as you share the gospel message with them.

But the message of the gospel is what missions is all about. God will use us to communicate the message in many ways - but the message is the same, and we must always be prepared to share it.

I am not qualified to evaluate the projects of the ~250 missionaries, because I do not know the work that God is doing through them.

But the fact that PCUSA has so much money and so few missionaries speaks for itself.

 
At 9:51 PM , Blogger PJ said...

When it comes to an agenda for biblical mission, I take these words of Jesus as the central outline: “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. …” (Luke 24:46-48) This is how Jesus interpreted the Word of God, and I am not smarter or more compassonate than Jesus. If we have not offered repentance and forgiveness, we have not done the work of Jesus.

 
At 12:32 AM , Anonymous will spotts said...

No it is not mission if the gospel is not communicated. Or at least, it is not Christian mission.

Many of our mission emphases are also not even solely humanitarian, being more concered with political solidarity.

 

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