The mission of God’s people is to be a blessing to all nations in fulfilment of His promise to, and covenant with, Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3).1 That covenant renewed humanity’s original creation mandate to be fruitful and to rule over and care for the creation (Genesis 1:27–28; 2:15). God’s promise to Abraham climaxes in Jesus’s life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Before ascending, Jesus commissioned his followers to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18–20) as a vital part of his great work of reconciling everything to himself (Colossians 1:18–20).
We can therefore see the church’s role in the world in terms of three great commissions:
- the ‘creation commission’ to care for all the earth, including all of life
- the ‘blessing commission’ to bring comprehensive goodness and wholeness to all nations2
- the ‘gospel commission’ to make and mature disciples of all people groups
Discipleship and mission are two sides of the same coin, both involving the whole of life. They are our response to God’s great love for us, and they express our love for Him, His word, and His world.3 The organized church and the organic church4 are, in different ways, God’s agents of reconciliation and renewal in the spiritual, social, personal, and creational dimensions of life as we ‘bear witness to Jesus Christ and all his teaching – in every nation, in every sphere of society, and in the realm of ideas.’5
This biblical framework shapes our approach to media engagement in this highly mediated world in which we live.
- Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God’s People : A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2010). pp. 72–73. ↩︎
- Wright, 2010, p. 67. ↩︎
- See The Cape Town Commitment (2011), ‘Part I. For the Lord we Love: The Cape Town Confession of Faith’. ↩︎
- Christians living ordinary lives in the world are part of the organic church, and contribute to the church’s mission through their work and witness, but this is not part of the church’s organized activity. ↩︎
- The Cape Town Commitment, foreword. ↩︎