I was reading through Transforming Mission again this week and found this definition of mission that I really enjoyed:
Mission therefore means being involved in the ongoing dialogue between God, who offers his salvation, and the world, which – enmeshed in all kinds of evil – craves that salvation. (Bosch, p.400).
The qoute acknowledges that first and foremost mission is above all God’s mission (missio Dei). He is reaching and at work in the world. It is because loving the world with the Gospel of Grace was first God’s mission that we the church are able to do so, both in word and action. That is the other reason I like the quote so much, it is broad enough that it does not give priority to word or deed in defining mission. For so long the church has tried to give an order of importance when it comes to mission. Do we preach the Gospel or do we live in such a way that fights for justice and love our enemies as ourselves? We must realize that you can no longer separate the two. There is no either/or. It is time that Christians “repudiate as demonic the attempt to drive a wedge between evangelism and social concern.” (Bosch, p.406).