What Does God’s Mission Mean to Me?
We asked three people at different stages in their journey to share their thoughts with us.
Displaying His Infinite Glory
By Kevin Murphy
“It means, chiefly, to prioritize what Christ prioritizes, which is the maximal display of his infinite worth (his glory). We don’t always get it right, but we’re trying to have that as the motivating factor for everything we do. That shapes the way that we interact with our community, as we want them to see the infinite worth of Christ and thereby come to know him. But it also shapes the way we live out our everyday lives, for God is glorified when we steward his creation, and when our hard work and diligence in the market-place is fruitful. But God is especially glorified when we live out his heart for those who are hurting , the broken or on the outskirts of society’s priority list, and make ourselves available to be used by God to heal that which is hurting.
“So we’re trying to treat each person we meet with equal dignity, we’re aiming to teach our children (and ourselves!) the value of human life. That it is not the rich or poor, educated or simple who are to be esteemed but that each person has been made in the likeness of God; and therefore while each and everyone of us is in need of Christ’s gracious disposition towards us, every individual also carries the dignity of being image-bearers of God. Just as the gospel compels us to go-and-tell, so it compels us to go-and-love.”
– Kevin is a pastor at Common Ground Church and leads the leadership team of the InnerCity congregation.
By Nathalie Koenig
“For me, living in the fullness of God’s mission means nothing less than being in the centre of God’s will – and exactly where He allows me to thrive. I remember the day that I started volunteering with Arise, an NGO in Heideveld, and was filled with the joy of knowing that I would get to do a lot of the things that I most loved doing. Being with people, being challenged, telling stories, and helping children get excited about themselves, the world, and all that’s in it. That the hope of Christ would be shared and some of creation’s brokenness restored in the process were simply natural overflows of God’s goodness to me in providing that opportunity. I didn’t go out to evangelise, or do justice, I was just put somewhere by my Father because He loves me, and loves the world. God’s mission is such a beautiful thing, because it’s what every single person on the planet needs to live as He created them to live. We are all participants in and beneficiaries of His mission.”
By Craig Stewart
“As a follower of Jesus, I love, but often struggle to make real in my life, the idea that God wants to make himself known to others through me. Love and justice are core parts of who God is, and as I seek to make him known I find myself wrestling with how I am representing his character. How I treat others, the way in which I cooperate with or subvert the systems of this world, the wages I pay, how and how much I consume, the products I sell, and how I love my neighbour in this global world – all either proclaim (with the rest of creation) the reality of a loving and just God who wants to be known, or they don’t!”
“God’s desire to be known as just and loving is sometimes best declared through words, projects or events that I participate in or give my money and time too. But if I’m not always seeking to have my life reflect the full character of God then I lack integrity and my efforts are simply a clanging gong. I particularly identify with and like this quote by Chris Wright in The Mission of God:”That God’s will to be known precedes and undergirds all of the efforts of God’s people in their mission of making Him known.”
– Craig is the director of The Warehouse, a non-profit organisation that exists to serve the church in its response to poverty and injustice