The following thoughts are the conclusion of an article by Eugene W. Bunkowske in Missio Apostolica (Vol. III, No. 2, 1995). See previous Monday postings on “Go!” for the rest of the article. Check out the Lutheran Society for Missiology website. Among many resources, you will find the most recent copy of Missio Apostolica in PDF format. article by Eugene W. Bunkowske that has been reproduced from Missio Apostolica (Vol. III, No. 2, 1995).
Mission Work: The Lutheran Way declares that the Mission is the mission of God. It sees the individual Christian, the congregation, the denomination, and all kinds of mission organizations and societies as God’s means, instruments, vehicles, yes, messengers for God’s purpose of “Keeping the message straight and getting the message out,” i.e. the Good News of God’s redemption of the human race through the work of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Lutheran missiologists confess that God owns the mission. They confess the three solas: by grace alone, by faith alone, by Scripture alone. They realize that they would not have any function or meaning if they were separated from the basic source of the mission. God is the Source. He is the tap root. He is the Owner, the powerful Sender, the Initiator. Yet, since God has chosen to do his mission through his Body, his family, the Lutheran Christian is a vital and necessary servant, vehicle, or, we could say, functioning component in God’s mission. In that sense, God’s mission is truly a family business, a family mission. The Christian can choose to be an active or passive family member, a helpful or unhelpful messenger of that mission. Careless messengers can choose to neglect their God-given part in God’s mission. They can choose not to participate. Or by the power of God’s Spirit, they can respond and participate as God’s effective and efficient means for getting the “means of grace” to a world of lost and dying people.