Don Golden has written a scholarly, but very interesting and readable paper on the way in which Evangelicals tend to separate church and mission. The paper takes a broad look at the way different writers have viewed the relationship between church and mission and then looks at the story across the Scriptures. It’s well worth a read.
A tension exists in Evangelical mission between the Biblical vision of the church and its real history. The Bible portrays a church that, as William Temple put it, is the only society that exists solely for the benefit of its non-members. The Church is a missional body. Too often however, the church has either been uninterested in mission or has reduced its importance and delegated it to mission agencies. In practical terms, the local church has been, in a real sense, divorced from the world mission endeavour. A dichotomy exists between Christianity in its localised expression and Christianity in its missionary expansion. That is, a dichotomy of the church itself,
separated into two separate structures: the congregation, or what we call the church and another, the missionary society.
Hat Tip (yet again) Tall Skinny Kiwi