What picture comes into your mind when you hear the word “missions?” Does the picture change when you read “missio dei? Or missional?” Recently I had someone rather vigorously object to the term missions. For him the missio dei was a good thing and missions were evil. I’ve had similar conversations with people who loved missions, but objected to the term missional. It’s evident that not all of us take part in the same conversations. Connotations of terms in some communities are different than in others.
Whatever the terminology it is clear that God sent His Son on a mission to reclaim His lost children, and that those who have been found are called to become finders of others under Christ’s Lordship and by the Spirit’s power. That mission is comprehensive: both local and global, both physical and spiritual, and everything in between. The disease of sin is pervasive and so must the cure be.
For many years Christian Reformed Home Missions encouraged congregations to focus special attention on local and domestic missions around Easter. Since many in North America attend church on Easter who rarely are there otherwise, it is a great season to be thinking about reaching out to secularized and not-yet-Christian North Americans.
Christian Reformed World Missions has called churches to make Pentecost a day to celebrate the worldwide mission of the Church. The multi-national and multi-lingual group gathered on that first Pentecost Sunday and the gift of languages which accompanied the coming of the Spirit clearly pointed out that God’s period of focus on a single people, the Jews, was giving way to a worldwide expansion of His Kingdom.
Beginning last year the two agencies have worked together to make the whole period from Easter to Pentecost a time to celebrate the mission of God, local, domestic, and international. Your church should have received two packets of materials, one in March and one in mid April to help you celebrate this season. We hope you found these materials useful. Please let us know by replying to this survey. We need your feedback so that we can serve you better.
P.S. In case you missed the last hard copy Just for Pastors from Christian Reformed World Missions, this email to pastors has replaced it and expanded the material coming to your from the agencies of the Christian Reformed Church. We hope you will find it helpful to have all these notices in one place.