Mission is complex; really complex. Honest, it is!
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been developing a way in which we can categorise different approaches to mission. Not so as to put people and books into boxes, but as a way of trying to identify common themes and ideas. I’ve selected five different ways in which mission thought and action can be distinguished:
- Mission In the Bible: The Bible as Mission (Biblical basis)
- Broad View: Narrow View (The role of social action)
- A Mission for the Church: A Church for Mission (missio Dei)
- Task Orientation: Lifestyle Orientation (Is mission a completable task?)
- Home Orientation: World Orientation (speaks for itself)
Please note, that I have scheduled these posts in advance and I can’t actually provide links to them. I will do so as soon as I can and will then remove this paragraph.
Some of these go together very closely. For example, the Bible as Mission approach, is likely to be linked to a Broad View and a Lifestyle Orientation. However, this doesn’t mean that a Mission In the Bible approach will always be linked to the Narrow View and a Task Orientation. One of the factors I find most intriguing and which I would like to test is how much a Church for Mission approach ties up with Home or World orientation. As I said in the original piece on this one, I suspect it ties very well to a Home Orientation.
My suggestion is that these poles could be used as a sort of mission Myers-Briggs, by which different approaches to mission could be identified. Obviously, it needs a good deal of refinement and some sort test for actually working out where people fit. What do you think?
For the record, I fit in the following: Bible as Mission, Broad View, Church for Mission, Lifestyle Orientation, World Orientation. What about you?