Why do we do what we do in World Outreach International? To answer that question, we need to go back to the undergirding question, which is: What is mission?
We derive the term “mission” from the Latin missio dei, which means “the mission of God” or “the sending of God”. Missio is the Latin form of the Greek apostalos meaning “sent”, and is used in the sense of: “to send on a mission as an envoy, to speak for the one sending him, and having the sender’s own authority”. This is significant for us.
Mission is an activity of God Himself. Mission is the loving work of God to bring humankind to Himself. As a missional God, the Father sent His Son. Through the incarnation, Jesus came as a missionary – He is the sent one. The Father and Son then sent the Holy Spirit to direct and empower God’s mission through the church. In John 20:21, Jesus told His disciples: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” As followers of Jesus, we are sent ones.
In his book, Christian Mission in the Modern World, John Stott defines “mission” as a “comprehensive word that embraces everything which God sends his people (the church) into the world to do.” Mission is our partnership in God’s ongoing mission and our response to the great commission.
Importantly, especially to us, mission is both local and global. According to Acts 1:8, we are called to partner with God in His mission to our: Jerusalem (mission in our home city), Judea (mission in our county, province, or state), Samaria (mission to those of other ethnic origins living nearby), and to the ends of the earth (mission cross-culturally and internationally).
Back to the question I started with: Why do we do what we do? First, because it is God’s mission. Second, because, as God’s people, we are “sent ones” to partner with the Lord in His mission. Third, because we are commissioned and compelled to go to those who have never heard. Unless we are active in mission, the unreached will never hear about the Good News of Jesus. This is what motivates us “to impact least-reached people groups with the Good News of Jesus Christ”.
By Bruce Hills