The following is a short worksheet/Bible study on God’s mission and our role in it that I’m using with the Young Life student staff in LA.
God’s Mission: Genesis to Revelation
I’ve heard them described as the “navy seals” of Christians. They’re sometimes talked about as an “elite” bunch, while everyone else sort of just goes about their day living their regular life. At least, that’s how people often think about them—if they aren’t explicitly saying those kinds of things. I’m talking about people who are on mission or, more commonly “missionaries.” They are the people who have answered a call from God to take the message of Jesus to those who haven’t heard it yet. They’re the ones who give up their way of life—family, friends, career aspirations—to cross significant cultural or geographic barriers, carrying the good news about Jesus. While we might often think about “missionaries” in that way, and our churches might often talk about them in that way, that’s not the main way that the Bible talks about mission and the ones who take part in it.
How does the Bible talk about “mission?” The first character in the Bible who is described as having a mission is actually God. God’s mission to rescue, redeem, and gather a people for himself is the primary thread that runs through Scripture. God creates for relationship. Humans fall. God goes on a “mission” to redeem the world and gather a diverse community back to himself. So what is our role in God’s mission? Christopher Wright puts it this way:
Fundamentally, our mission (if it is biblically informed and validated) means our committed participation, as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission within the history of God’s world for the redemption of God’s creation. (Wright, Mission of God, 23)
In what follows we’ll take a look at some passages from Scripture that talk about God’s original vision for creation, God’s mission to redeem creation, and our role in His mission.
God’s Vision for Creation
- -Genesis 1:26-28
- -(Genesis 3)
- -Genesis 6:1, 5
- -Genesis 9:1
- -Genesis 11:1-4
God is on a Mission
- John 1:1-14
- Philippians 2:17
“The God of the Bible is a God on mission. From Genesis to Revelation his unfolding story reveals his heart for the nations and his plan to gather lost sheep… Even now, God is gathering to himself a multitude of peoples from every nation who are enjoying his grace and extending his glory. And he calls every believer to join him in that mission.” – Robert Wells V
God’s Mission Fulfilled
The mission is God’s but God chooses to involve people in his plan. He wants to use his people—that includes us!—to be his agents of blessing to the world. If you follow the entire story of the Bible, you’ll notice that God is constantly in the business calling people to join him in what he is doing.
|Passage||How Far?||Who God Used…|
|2 Cor 5:18-20|
Brad Brisco mentions that if it is ultimately God’s mission, and not ours, then we must first discover how God is at work in our communities (neighborhoods, schools, sports teams, etc.). That means we have to learn to listen. Listen to what the Spirit is up to and listen to the people in our community. Once we do that, we need to ask ourselves—in conversation with God—how can we participate in what God is already doing?
Questions for Reflection
1)Where do I see God at work?
2)Where and how is God working in the lives of those around me?
3)How might God want me to be involved in what he is doing in my community?