“The mission is the work that belongs to God. This is the first implication of the missio Dei. God is the Lord, the One who gives the orders, the Owner, the One who takes care of things. He is the Protagonist in the mission. … The mission, and with it the church, is God’s very own work. We cannot speak of ‘the mission of the church’ even less of ‘our mission.’ Both the church and the mission have their source in the loving will of God. Therefore we can speak of church and mission always only with the understanding that they not independent entities. Both are only tools of God, instruments through which God carries out His mission. The church must first in obedience fulfill His mission. Only then can she speak of her mission, since her mission is then included in the missio Dei.”
“Now our theme is seen in its truly serious dimensions. If it is true that God intends the mission since He Himself carries out the mission, then the church can be God’s vessel and tool only if she surrenders herself to His purpose. If she disassociates herself from this concern of God, she becomes disobedient and can no longer be church in the divine sense. ‘There is no participation in Christ without participation in His mission to the world.’”*(p. 5-6)
**** The previous quotes are from Georg F. Vicedom’s book, The Mission of God: An Introduction to A Theology of Mission. Translated by Gilbert A. Thiele and Dennis Hilgendorf. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1965.
*Vicedom quotes the words of Norman Goodall in his book Missions Under the Cross (London: Edinburgh House Press, 1953)