I love this simple image from David Hayward over at NakedPastor.com. It says all that needs to be said.
We find missio Dei in Scripture: God the Father sends the Son and the Spirit into the world, and the Father, Son, and Spirit send the church into the world for the sake of the world. In other words, mission does not originate with the church but is derived from the very nature of God. As Jurgen Moltmann has said, “It is not the church that has a mission of salvation to fulfill the world; it is the mission of the Son and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church”
When we read the Scriptures, we learn that it is God’s mission to set things right in a broken and messed-up world. God’s mission is to redeem the world and restore it to its intended purpose. The church exists to fulfill God’s mission, and when we participate in God’s mission we become living signs of God’s intended future for the world, bringing glory to God. In other words, mission exists because God is a missionary God. And “a church which is not on mission is either not yet or no longer the church, or only a dead church–itself in need of renewal”
(Woodward, Creating a Missional Culture, 27-28)
From the Good Folks at Occupy Advent.
This is from a Jared Slack’s photos over at Plixi.