God has had a mission in creation since, literally, the beginning of time (Gen. 1:3). God has had a mission in humanity since the beginning of the alienation (Gen. 3:9). The God of this mission is the God who hears the groans of humanity (Ex. 2:24; 6:5). This God moves in with humanity (John 1:14). He seeks the lost (Luke 19:10). He serves the least (Matt. 25:45). He suffered to rescue the suffering (John 19:18). He calls and equips disciples (Matt. 28:16-20). He sends the Spirit to empower the church (Mark 1:8; Acts 2:17-18; 4:31).
The God of mission has a church. The church has no other mission, but only the mission of God in humanity and all creation. The church is the agent of God’s change. The Church is a mission of transformation. The church’s mission is God’s mission. God’s mission in humanity is to invite humanity to become part of God’s life. Likewise, the mission of the church is to invite humanity to become part of God’s life. The church is a mission of extension in the invitation of God. The mission of God has a church.
Since the alienation the world has been upside-down. To everyone since Adam and Eve an upside-down world seems right-side up, however. When God moved in humanity as Jesus Christ He turned the world right-side up again, and everyone thinks He has turned it upside-down. God’s mission is a rescuing of humanity; a recovery of capsized creation. Because of a perverted equilibrium, the mission of God is counterintuitive to humanity. Because humanity is off-balance, creation is off-center.
Jesus is the Good News that God is in mission to creation. Jesus lived the Good News with His life. That Jesus died is the Good News of recovery. That Jesus is offering the Good News in His resurrection is the rescuing; it is the invitation of God’s mission – the church. Jesus is the Kingdom of God in Person. He is the Person of Transformation. Transformation is the invitation to be part of God’s life by extending God’s invitation to be part of God’s life.
God’s mission has a church that is an agent of change; an agent of transformation. The church is a sign of the Kingdom, pointing to a reality beyond itself; a sign without significance apart from what it signifies. The church as mission is a foretaste of the Kingdom, a down payment of the Kingdom; it is an instrument of the kingdom, a tool utilized to facilitate the work of the Kingdom. Transformation is a sharing in the life of God – the kingdom – together as community; God’s worldview. Community is the evidence of God in mission to humanity – the church. Creation is recovered in the rescuing of humanity in the mission of God – Jesus Christ, the Person of the God of mission.