Diluting the Concept of Mission

Lausanne World Pulse has just published their most recent articles which you can check out at http://www.LausanneWorldPulse.com. Here is one section that caught my attention:

The broadened concept of “mission” which seems prevalent in our day equates all that the Church does as mission. We might ask ourselves if we have so diluted the term “missionary” that it has become a catch-all word with accrued baggage that allows for almost any kind of overseas work or anything vaguely connected with the gospel to be called “mission.”

As a result, we have career “missionaries” who bear little resemblance to the New Testament apostle or evangelist (perhaps the closest counterpart to the non-biblical term “missionary”). This is not to criticize the good work they have done, nor to impugn their motives; however, when “missionaries” are engaged in ministry that does not result in planting reproductive fellowships of saved, baptized disciple, then we do well to reevaluate our present situation. What does it say about our concept of mission when evangelicals are “disturbed by the continuing flood of church-planting teams into various people groups in the world”? Should we not rather be disturbed if this were not done?

--Stephen Davis


Anonymous said…
الاخ ابو داود

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله

I agree. The word "mission" or "missionary" has become so diluted that each time we hear it, we must ask what it means in order to get a true understanding of the speaker's intent. (This is not unlike the word "christian" or "christianity" in America today.) This has played a major part in me ceasing to use the term "mission trip" or "mission team" for the short-term work we do. I now call all of our teams "church planting teams." While we may not see a healthy, reproducing church emerge on a short-term trip, all we do should be helping advance in that direction!

His peace be with you,
From the Middle East
thanks for that quote and all your wonderful work. I am especially enjoying your walk through Evangelii Nuntiandi.

I have no idea what happened to Catholics and "mission" after Vatican II. It seems to have become anything *but* calling people to discipleship in Christ.
Odysseus said…
Been there. Done that.

I spent 18months as a Catholic "missionary". Oh, I did dome good work and ended up directing a moen's shelte rin Juarez at the age of 23, but I don't think I saved any souls. And I went through a lot of leftist indoctrination while I was there.

JohnG. said…
Indeed, in present days catholicism , the way of understantding mission was often reduced to fraternal signs just has feeding the poors etc... But this is changing quickly...

However, it is contrary to papal teachings to reduce mission to this. This misunderstanding of the mission is happily weakening to a more global understanding of mission. Charismatic renewal for exemple has amore direct way to evangelize and claiming Goospel.

I see that things are progressively taking the place they must have...

But there is still a lot of work to do...

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