We have come to see that mission is not merely an activity of the church. It is the result of God’s initiative, rooted in his desire to restore and heal creation. Mission means “sending” and is the central biblical theme describing God’s action in human history. This sending is embodied and lived out in the missional impulse. It is the outward movement rooted in God’s mission that compels the church to reach a lost world.
The central thrust of the incarnation was that by becoming one of us, God was able to achieve redemption for the human race and radical identification with all that it means to be human. If God’s way of reaching his world was to incarnate himself in Jesus Christ then our way of reaching the world should likewise be incarnational. We need to exercise a genuine identification with those we are trying to reach so that they may come to know God through Jesus. The following framework is an example of how Jesus relates to us through the incarnation and how we can relate incarnationally to others.
Keys to Understanding
We are a community that is sent outwardly into the world, and deeply into culture
We are individually inspired and energized by the mission of God
Our community practices a genuine identification with those we are trying to reach
We have an active expectation that we engage frequently with those around us
Our “Christian community” constantly adapts to surrounding culture and way of life