“Jesus is at the heart of God’s mission in the world. He did not come to start a church. He came for the sake of the world: “For God so loved the world,” John wrote, “that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). The fact is, the horizon of all God’s activity is the world.
Through Jesus, God’s love, blessing and salvation come to us because we are part of the world. Those of us who by faith receive the gift of God’s salvation through Christ are called Christians. Together, we are the church. And, through us, the good news of God’s loving mission to bring reconciliation is made known through all the world.
Sometimes being for the world means being against the world, much like when your kids are doing something that is dangerous or wrong—being for them means challenging and maybe even working to change them. But being the church is never about leaving the world. God loves the world! Through us, God is at work making it holy and whole. In fact, making the world holy and whole is the point of being the church. And if we’re not doing that then we’re not the church at all.
Tomorrow: No experience necessary