My entire life’s importance is “living in hope for the mission of the church today.” Anyone who is in my same shoes should be able to say that. The mission of the church today is still the same as it has been yesterday and the day before that. To be the Body of Christ, to glorify the name of God with everything that we do (1 Cor. 10:31), and to keep faith, love and hope in our hearts (1 Cor. 13:13). There are obviously many things we are called to do as individuals, but these are a few that we are called to do that affect everyone. This also does not mean we should not adapt to the culture around us; and please do not get adapt and conformed confused. They are two separate things. Let’s first examine the use of our hope.
“Hope is important: it is a vital part of the faith that must shape our mission today.”(DOS 224) How could we expect anyone else to put their hope in Jesus Christ if we do not do it first? We also cannot expect them to put their hope in Jesus if they do not know what He has done for us. “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” (2 Cor.3:12) That is exactly how we should be. Bold. As a church it should be our mission to proclaim our hope in Jesus and help others understand why we are given that hope. If we do not have hope we also do not have faith.
“Faith is the means by which we appropriate the salvation accomplished in Jesus Christ.” (DOS 224) When we put our hope in Jesus Christ we begin to build our faith in Him. Without the faith that we have our so called “hope” would almost cease to be a factor in our daily lives but since it is a factor it gives us a reason to rest in Him. The definition of faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” as told by Google. When we put our hope in Jesus and the path He gives us that truth we were looking for becomes real, our trust in Him, our devotion to Him, and our faith in Him flourish and become appealing to anyone who is without. The reason why this becomes appealing is because when we have faith or when we have that purpose we take action. This action is hopefully portrayed by love.
“Love is the outward expression of that faith, which marks the life of the believing community.” (DOS 224) Any move we make we should make in love. Any decision a church makes should be in love. This is the goal of our entire church mission. To act in love by our faith through our hope in Jesus Christ. We do not have true faith until we live it out. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without action is dead.”(James 2:26) The goal of the church, the purpose of the church, or the mission of the church, however you want to say it, is not complete without love in our actions. It is the greatest thing we can do.
The church cannot conduct itself in any other fashion or it will perish. We live in a busy society. Everything around us moves fast and we have to keep up or the unsaved will walk by our doors without even a glance. This does not mean we change the content. It means we change our approach. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 that he will become all things to all men in order to save as many as possible. As time passes the culture around us will change and we have to think outside of the box if we want to complete the mission of Jesus Christ.
As for me, I will do my best to uphold exactly what I said. Whatever that looks like to the culture around me. It could possibly be playing different styles of music or preaching in a certain fashion (videos, podcast, live stream, etc.) I cannot tell you specifically because God has not yet revealed to me what that is. I can tell you one thing though. Once He does reveal that to me I will pour my heart into that because I put my hope, faith, and love in Jesus Christ. I pray that you can do the same.
I wrote this for a class and I thought it would be good to post here. Just to clarify “DOS” stands for Drama of Scripture by Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen. Thanks!