The church as ‘the body of Christ’ means that the church is to do what Christ would do if He were still on the earth ‘bodily’.
It is for this reason that the church as an ‘assembly’ has been called out. The church does not simply have a mission; the church is mission.
Read Matthew 28:19-20. How does it address the issue of the church’s mission?
Mission involves sending people out to speak for God. It is what God Himself did with the prophets of Israel (Jer. 7:25) and with the apostles (Luke 9:1-2; 10:1, 9). Jesus sent out His disciples just as the Father had sent Him (John 20:21). The church today can do no less and remain faithful to its calling.
Clearly, evangelism is central to the mission of the church. The church exists also for the edification of believers, for the promotion of true worship, and for engaging in matters of social concern.
Though the church faces many challenges, one of the most difficult is to keep a proper balance in its understanding of mission. On one hand, it would be so easy to get caught up in social reform, and in working for the betterment of society and its ills. While that work is important, in and of itself, it must never be allowed to swallow up the ultimate mission of the church, which is to reach the lost for Jesus and to prepare people for His return. At the same time, too, we need to avoid the extreme of living as if every headline signaled the end of the world and, thus, neglect the basic tasks of daily life. We need divine wisdom in order to know how to strike the right balance.
How involved are you in the mission of the church? In what way could you do more than you are doing? Why is it important for your own spiritual growth to be involved in the church’s calling?