Here are three statements that I have returned to recently in my thinking about the church and its mission. Each is saying similar things with distinct emphasis. What do you think about these statements? What do you think about the relationship between the church and its mission?
Vincent Donovan, a missionary to the Masai in Tanzania in the mid-twentieth century, in his book Christianity Rediscovered:
Mission is the meaning of the church….The church exists only insofar as it carries Christ to the world….The idea of church without mission is an absurdity.
William Temple, archbishop of Canterbury in the early twentieth century:
The church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.
Paul Borden in his book, Direct Hit:
Healthy congregations are defined by sacrifice… They exist more for those who are currently not part of the group than for those who comprise the current congregation.
What do you think?