A Missional Ecclesiology [In Brief] – Part I
In an attempt to describe a missional ecclesiology in brief, I am reminded of one of the most influential theologians of the last century, Karl Barth. He reintroduced the classic doctrine of missio Dei, this idea in scripture where you have God the Father sending the Son, and God the Father and the Son sending the Spirit, and then the Father, Son and Spirit sending the church into the world for the sake of the world.
In other words, mission is not primarily an activity in the church. It is derived from the very nature of God. Jürgen Moltmann puts it this way: “It is not the church that has a mission of salvation to fulfill in the world: it is the mission of the Son and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church” (Moltmann 1993:64).
The mission is rooted in God’s love, focused on Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the mission is God’s. We are involved in mission because we have received God’s grace and have been invited by God to share the same love for the world that God demonstrated in sending Jesus.
In part two, we will look at the calling of the church.