The mission of the church is to go into the world and make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and gathering these disciples into churches, that they might worship and obey Jesus Christ now and in eternity to the glory of God the Father. (What Is the Mission of the Church: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert, p.241)
I highly recommend What Is the Mission of the Church: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission and Gospel Meditations for Missions.
Here is David Hosaflook’s poignant meditation on day 31:“Paul taught us that the essence of missions is going places where Christ is not already named (Romans 15:20). I don’t understand why church planters so frequently ignore that little word not. The mission is not to plant the coolest church in town, but the only church in town. Why target The Bible Belt when so many places don’t even have a Bible? Roughly 35% of the world has no access to the Gospel. I’m not talking about the people in your neighborhood who have never heard “a clear presentation of the Gospel” (but could if you would just cross the street). I’m talking about the 2,400,000,000 people who couldn’t find a Christian if they tried. How is this possible? How many of our mission workers are even targeting them? I might be satisfied with a proportionate 35%. But get this: it’s less than 5%! Tip a waitress 5% and she’ll spit in your soup the next time you order lunch. Five measly percent is a yawn in the face of the Great Commissioner, a shrug at the plight of the damned. It’s tantamount to telling the unreached to go to Hell.Forgive my candor, but I don’t know how else to verbalize what our inaction is communicating. We’re cloistered in climate-controlled cathedrals, feasting while billions can’t even find a drop of Water. “We do not well! This day is a day of good tidings!” (2 Kings 7:9). Our main problem isn’t fear. Certainly we prefer our crosses gilded, not bloody—but there’s a bigger issue. Christ is not our life (Philippians 1:21). We’re self-absorbed. Distracted. Apathetic. Unimpressed at the stunning honor of fulfilling biblical prophecies. Passionate about anything other than harvest fields of unreached souls—unreached not because they’re unreachable, but because we’ve chosen not to reach them.The Romans Rover is warmed up and ready to roll. Jesus is driving. The ride won’t be smooth. But there’s a seat with your name all over it. You in?”