There is an old Latin term ‘Missio Dei’ which means the “Mission of God” or the “Sending of God”— It refers to God’s great mission to restore humanity to Himself (by sending Jesus) and His call to us, His Church to take part in the mission. It is a mission that has been at play for thousands of years and continues to this day.
Jesus is key to this mission. Through Him, we are granted access to take part in it. His time on earth was significant. Why He came, what He did and how He did it, were all intentional moves by God inviting us into life in Him and exampling what that life on mission would look like.
You would be familiar with the ‘Great Commission’ — the command of Jesus telling us to “go into all the world…” That is our call to take part in the mission. It is an honour that we can work with God as co-labourers in the great co-mission to tell and show people the good news of God’s redemption story and how it applies to them today.
Often we assume the call to ‘go’ is a call to ‘missionaries’ only. A call to those who will go and serve in the far corners of the globe, but the mission of God is too important to leave to missionaries alone. It is not just a mission for others, it is a co-mission with God and us. It is a personal call to each of us.
Our commission is to go into the world, not over-to the world. That means that our call is to live on mission and take the message of Jesus INTO workplaces, conversations, university campuses, families, and cultures not just other countries.
In the same way that Jesus became a human and entered the neighbourhood to fulfil God’s mission, we are invited with Jesus in us, to enter our individual neighbourhoods and live out the mission of restoring humanity back to God.
‘Missio Dei’ is simply living out the message of Jesus in community knowing that God is also at work in the community.
It is being aware of God’s mission while being on mission. Sometimes life on mission looks grand, and other days it looks grubby. Some days it is done with others and some days it is done alone, but it is never done without the Holy Spirit. He is central to the strategy. In fact, it is our obedience to His prompting and guiding that ensures we are mission effective.
Life on mission isn’t a task, rather a lifestyle and a commitment we graciously accept when we accept Jesus. Accepting Jesus is accepting the mission.
We are given both identity and purpose when we accept Jesus. We are both ‘saved’ and ‘called’ according to His purpose and mission. A mission which needs to be outworked not just in church, but in our homes, workplaces, neighbourhoods, schools, parks, street corners, grocery stores, phone calls and bus rides.
If you have ever questioned what your purpose is, look to Jesus. He has already shown us! We are to join God in His great mission of restoring humanity to Him. The question is, are we being effective in our mission?
Reuben Skewes is an Australian pastor’s kid by birth, a graphic designer by trade and a husband and father by choice. He spent many years working with troubled teens, served as a pastor in his local church and currently is pioneering new ways to combine mission and technology to share Jesus.